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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 09:27 GMT
Tributes paid to TV star Beadle
Jeremy Beadle, pictured in 2002
Jeremy Beadle was best known for playing practical jokes on TV
Tributes have been paid to television presenter and prankster Jeremy Beadle, who has died aged 59 from pneumonia.

Henry Kelly, his co-host on 1980s ITV show Game For A Laugh, said: "I loved and admired him," adding he would "miss him desperately".

His friend Sir Alan Sugar said it was "a sad loss" and called Beadle a "very, very nice man".

Beadle was best known for hosting shows including You've Been Framed, but raised millions for charity.

Sarah Kennedy, who also co-presented Game For A Laugh, said the renowned joker was "probably not the man the public knew".

"He loved the showing-off side but was a clever, clever boy. I'm terribly upset.

"The underneath of him was a deeply intelligent person - during the Game For A Laugh days he had much more to do with the planning," added the BBC Radio 2 host.

'Consummate professional'

Noel Edmonds said the pair enjoyed a "friendly rivalry" when Beadle presented Game For A Laugh and he hosted the Late Late Breakfast Show.

He added: "I am so shocked at the news. I didn't realise he was so ill.

"He was a consummate professional but also a greatly misunderstood man - a great TV talent who was never truly appreciated.

Former You've Been Framed producer Dianne Nelmes said he was known for his pranks, "but in reality he was the kindest person you could ever meet".

His third Game For A Laugh co-host Matthew Kelly, who is currently away, said through his agent that he is "deeply, deeply saddened" by Beadle's death, adding they had "many fun times together".

Beadle, who was born in Hackney, east London, leaves behind his wife Sue, daughters Cassie and Bonnie, and his stepchildren Leo and Claire.

In his heyday, he regularly attracted television audiences of 15 million for Beadle's About and You've Been Framed.

I loved and admired him and I shall miss him desperately
Henry Kelly

But in recent years he had battled poor health after being diagnosed with a mild form of leukaemia in 2005. He also had a cancerous kidney removed.

He attracted funds for Children with Leukaemia all through his life and is thought to have raised more than 100 million for all charities.

In 2001 he was awarded an MBE.

Beadle was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, but this did not lessen his work rate.

In autumn 2007 he released three books, and he had been working on ideas for television programmes when he fell ill.

Growing up during the 80's Beadle made me laugh so hard that at times it hurt
Gavin Eyqum

Eddie O'Gorman, Children with Leukaemia's founder, added: "Jeremy was not only a close personal friend and an extraordinary entertainer, he was one of the most dedicated supporters this charity has ever seen.

Michael Cohen, chairman of MPC Entertainment, Mr Beadle's agents, said the star was "one of the biggest TV stars in reality television, and raised many, many tens of millions of pounds for charity, and I am sure that's what he would like to be remembered for.

"He was a fantastic human being, a very close friend and he will be greatly missed."

Paul Jackson, ITV's director of entertainment, said: "We are incredibly saddened to hear the news and our sympathy goes to Jeremy's family."

A spokeswoman for ITV said there were plans to screen a tribute programme to Beadle.

Obituary: Jeremy Beadle
30 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Beadle in hospital with pneumonia
25 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Beadle diagnosed with leukaemia
06 May 05 |  TV and Radio
Beadle honoured by Queen
28 Feb 01 |  Entertainment
Jeremy Beadle's biggest surprise
30 Dec 00 |  Entertainment

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