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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Whiteley honoured in Parliament
Richard Whiteley
The TV presenter died days after undergoing heart surgery
Countdown presenter Richard Whiteley, who died on Sunday aged 61, has been called "the nicest man on television" in a House of Commons motion.

Labour MP Austin Mitchell, who worked with Whiteley, praised "Yorkshire's best-loved TV personality".

Whiteley left "a host of sad friends and a world less colourful for the passing of his five vowels and 11 consonants," said Mr Mitchell.

Channel 4 has yet to decide whether game show Countdown will continue.

"We want Countdown to continue, but we need to have those discussions with Yorkshire TV, so there will be a break over the summer," a spokeswoman for the channel said.

The final shows featuring Whiteley, pre-recorded before he fell ill in May, are being broadcast this week.

Guest presenters

Two special tribute programmes will be transmitted on either side of Whiteley's last episode on Friday.

In May, Channel 4 announced plans to record the show with guest presenters, after Whiteley fell ill with pneumonia.

Richard Whiteley with co-presenter Carol Vorderman
Richard Whiteley presented Countdown for more than 20 years
Recording had been scheduled to begin this week, with guest presenter Richard Digance, but plans have since been put on hold.

Following Whiteley's final episode on Friday, Countdown will be taken off the air and replaced with repeats of A Place in the Sun.

Funeral arrangements remain private, with a public memorial service for Whiteley due to be held in September.

Whiteley's long-term partner Kathryn Apanowicz appealed on behalf of the family for the funeral to "remain a private occasion" to enable those closest to him "to grieve privately".

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