Keith Chegwin dies aged 60 at Shropshire home
TV presenter Keith Chegwin has died at the age of 60 following a long illness, his family has said.
The star, who moved to Shropshire earlier this year and was cared for by Severn Hospice staff, died at home after battling a progressive lung condition.
The former GMTV presenter was best known for hosting children's game show Cheggers Play Pop.
A statement from his family said: "We are heartbroken to share the news that Keith Chegwin sadly passed away following a long-term battle with a progressive lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which rapidly worsened towards the end of this year.
"Keith died peacefully at home shortly after midnight on the 11th of December. His wife Maria, his daughter Rose and his son Ted were by his side.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Severn Hospice for the kindness, support and care they have shown us all over the last few weeks.
"Keith was a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. We would respectfully ask to be left to mourn his passing in private."
The Liverpool-born presenter and actor moved to a country home between Whitchurch and Wem in February, having lived down south since he was 10.
Heather Palin, deputy chief executive and director of care at Severn Hospice, said: “Our thoughts are with Keith’s family at this sad time.
"Everyone at the charity is proud of the care we provide to all of our patients and the support we are able to offer families when they need us most.
"I am sure it was a comfort to both Keith and his loved ones that he was able to be cared for at home by our specialist Hospice at Home nurses.”
Meanwhile Maggie Philbin hailed her ex-husband, who was often known as Cheggers, as a "one-off".
In a statement on her website, Philbin said: "It is incredibly sad. Keith was a one-off - full of life, generous and with a focus on things that mattered - his family.
"I saw him two months ago at his sister Janice's wedding, where he was still attempting to be life and soul of the party despite being on portable oxygen and made sure he knew how much he meant to us all.
"Our daughter Rose flew home from San Francisco to be with him over the last few weeks and I know he was surrounded by so much love from his second wife Maria, their son Ted, his sister Janice, his twin brother Jeff and his father Colin.
"Keith was loved by everyone who knew and worked with him.
"I first met him when we did a film about windsurfing when I joined Swap Shop in 1978 and was immediately struck by his fun, energy and kindness.
"He drove me home to Leicestershire from that freezing lake in Staines, insisting it was on his own way home. (He lived in Twickenham)
"He leaves us all with very special memories."
As well as GMTV and Cheggers Play Pop, Chegwin presented Saturday Superstore and It's a Knockout and regularly appeared in pantomimes.
He made no secret of his battle with alcoholism but staged a comeback in recent years when he was a regular on reality TV.
He took part in Dancing On Ice in 2013 and Celebrity MasterChef and Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, when he came fourth and said that while his experience in the house had been a "nightmare" from beginning to end, he "actually quite enjoyed it".