To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
| Last updated
Showbiz veteran Lionel Blair has died at the age of 92.
The Give Us A Clue and Celebrity Big Brother star passed away surrounded by his family.
His management company confirmed the news with his agent saying: "He got to a very ripe old age, he was loved by his family, and I think he died in their company, which is lovely."
The seasoned performer was from the old school of variety shows and was capable of turning his hand to almost anything - including choreography, dancing, acting and presenting.
Blair, who moved to the UK from Canada as a child, fed his early passion for performing while sheltering from air raids during the Second World War.
Blair always remained coy over his true age and famously once said: "I am 59 plus VAT."
He grew up in the Stamford Hill area of north London and was evacuated to Oxford when war broke out, with his sister Joyce and mother Deborah.
However, the family's stint in the countryside did not last long and they returned to London after witnessing a German plane crash leading to his father, Myer, calling them back to the capital.
"If that can happen there, what's the point of being in the country away from each other?" Blair said his father told him.
His father's parents were Russian, though Blair described him as 'the archetypal north London barber'.
Blair was 13 when his father died after going in for surgery on a hernia and duodenal ulcer. After his dad's death, he said: "It changed everything."
Adding: "It was the first time I'd ever thought, I'm never going to see him again. It was so awful and I don't think I've ever experienced a loss like it."
Blair said he had to grow up 'artificially fast' following the death of his father, and he was already making a name for himself as an actor. However, then came the death of his mother, leaving him an orphan.
Throughout his showbiz career, he has been a dancer, choreographer, TV presenter, director and actor - covering the entire sphere of the business.
In the West End he played the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, and had roles in Lady Be Good, Mr Cinders and Pageant.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read