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1994: Roy Castle loses battle with cancer

Entertainer and television presenter Roy Castle has died from cancer at his Buckinghamshire home, just two days after his 62nd birthday.

Mr Castle was diagnosed with lung cancer two and a half years ago.

He decided to go public with his battle against the disease, and spent his last months raising money for cancer charities.

His career as a dancer, singer, comedian and trumpeter spanned over 30 years, but he will be best remembered for the BBC programme Record Breakers - which he presented for more than a decade.

The controller of BBC1, Alan Yentob, said he had been the "defining symbol of all that's best in children's programmes for over 20 years".

The singer Cliff Richard described him as the "consummate professional" and a "wonderful performer."


"Don't whine - laugh"

Roy Castle

Mr Castle had never smoked, but said he contracted his illness after years of playing in smoky jazz clubs early in his career.

He said in a documentary about his disease: "Whilst playing the trumpet in smoky rooms I inhaled great gulps of air - you have to fill your lungs."

Mr Castle raised millions of pounds in the last two years of his life to fund an international cancer centre in Liverpool.

Despite his obviously weak state, he embarked on a nationwide "Tour of Hope" less than two months before his death.

He had always been determined to carry on with his public activities for as long as possible.

In an interview for BBC television he urged fellow sufferers to live as normal a life as they possibly could.

"Don't whine - laugh," he said.

In Context
The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Centre was officially opened in Liverpool on 12 May 1998.

Sir Cliff Richard declared the centre open in an emotional ceremony.

He praised Roy Castle as a "brave guy who died in front of us all".

"This building will be a wonderful, wonderful memorial to him," he said.


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