Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Friday, 10 April 2009 13:40 UK

TV host Lennie Bennett dies at 70

Lennie Bennett
Lennie Bennett carved out a career as a game show presenter

Comic entertainer and game show host Lennie Bennett has died at the age of 70, his agent has confirmed.

The TV personality first appeared on stand-up show The Comedians in 1971, and became the presenter of shows including Punchlines during the 1980s.

The Blackpool-based performer starred alongside Jerry Stevens on their own comedy show Lennie and Jerry in 1978.

Bennett moved out of the limelight and was last seen on a game show hosts' edition of The Weakest Link in 2003.

Star turn

Irish comedian Frank Carson, who also appeared on The Comedians, said that Bennett was "a very good comedian and a very good performer".

The funnyman, who also lives in Blackpool, told the resort's Gazette newspaper: "Lennie was an absolutely wonderful fellow and we had lots of laughs together."

Lennie Bennett on The Weakest Link
Bennett appeared on a special edition of The Weakest Link in 2003

The newspaper reported that Bennett died after a fall at his home.

Bennett was a familiar face on TV screens during the 1980s, becoming a regular star turn on popular quiz shows Blankety Blank and Celebrity Squares.

Punchlines ran for 150 shows, and during his heyday, Bennett became famous for his mop of tightly-curled hair.

He also performed in 12 Royal Variety Shows, and had a brief stint as a chat show host on London Weekend Television in 1982.

The performer - who was born Mike Berry - was a newspaper reporter before making a break into showbusiness.

The later years of his career were spent on the after-dinner speaking circuit and hosting entertainment for corporate clients.

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