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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 16:47 GMT
Tributes to TV host Magnusson
Magnus Magnusson
Magnusson 's family paid tribute to "loving husband and father"
Many tributes have been paid to former Mastermind presenter, Magnus Magnusson, who has died aged 77.

He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last October.

His children issued the following statement: "Magnus was the most generous, steadfast, loving and loved of husbands and fathers.

"He taught each of us how to live, and in the last few weeks he has taught us how to die. He did both with infinite grace."

JOHN HUMPHRYS, CURRENT MASTERMIND HOST

"He came onto the programme literally a few weeks ago to present the prize to this year's winner and he was absolutely delightful.

"I didn't know then that he was as ill as he obviously was, but he was charming, he was funny, he was gracious, he was a lovely man.

"You can't waltz into the programme as the new boy, like I was, and after a few years say 'oh its my programme'. The fact is it will always be Magnus Magnusson's Mastermind."

FRED HOUSEGO, MASTERMIND WINNER

"If you were to watch and judge by what you saw on the television screen - a stern individual, but to use a phrase that you don't hear very often these days he was a clubbable man.

"He was a delight. He had a rich sense of humour. He loved what he did and well we stood friends for many years on and off camera - what a joy."

MARK THOMPSON, BBC DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"To the contestants of Mastermind, he was a tough but always fair question master, but behind this screen persona there was a family man of tremendous warmth and humanity.

"All our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time, and everyone at the BBC will share their tremendous sense of loss."

BBC SCOTLAND CONTROLLER KEN MACQUARRIE

"Magnus has been a towering figure over the last half century in both journalism and Scottish public life, not only through his writing and broadcasting, but also through the very varied work he did for a great many Scottish organisations.

"He was a man who transcended national borders and who came to write and speak about his adopted homeland with passion, knowledge and great warmth."

RSPB SCOTLAND DIRECTOR STUART HOUSDEN

"Magnus cared passionately about people and conservation.

"His skills as a communicator could bring dry issues alive to all audiences.

"He had a knack of saying the right things at the right time, and his enthusiasm for environmental education and volunteering will leave a lasting legacy with the RSPB, as part of its core work in all parts of the UK."

SNH CHIEF EXECUTIVE IAN JARDINE

"Magnus brought both profile and passion to SNH and its remit.

"He used these assets, along with his charm, to tremendous effect, highlighting the long connection between Scotland's people and its nature.

"In doing that he helped to change the way we talk about nature conservation and its value to Scotland's people.

"Magnus was a good friend of SNH and of many people here and his death will be felt very personally by many of us who worked with him over the years."

SNP LEADER ALEX SALMOND MP

"Magnus Magnusson had an exceptional career in broadcasting, literature and history, and made an enormous contribution to Scotland's national life.

"He was one of the most perceptive commentators of his generation, and will be sadly missed.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with his wife and children."


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