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Des O'Connor
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TV Personality
    (January 12, 1932- )
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    TV host/comedian/singer
    Hosted the variety shows 'The Des O'Connor Show' (1963-71) and 'Des O'Connor Entertains' (1974-76), the talk shows 'Des O'Connor Tonight' (1977-2002) and 'Today with Des and Mel' (2002-06), and the game shows 'Take Your Pick' (1992-98) and 'Countdown' (2007-08)
    Recorded the singles 'Careless Hands' (1967), 'I Pretend' (1968), '1-2-3 O'Leary' (1968), 'Loneliness' (1969), 'I'll Go On Hoping' (1970) and 'The Skye Boat Song' (1986)
    Appeared on the West End stage in 'The Wizard of Oz' (2012-13)
    Appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2008)
    His first job was as complaints clerk in a boot and shoe factory.
    His singing was constantly mocked by Morecambe and Wise. (A typical exchange -- Wise: 'I've got some good news.' Morecambe: 'What? Has Des O'Connor got a sore throat?')
    He has been married four times, divorced three times.
    His fourth wife is 37 years his junior and is younger than his daughter Karen.
    Despite several attempts, he never caught on with American audiences.
    He joked that he has never gone out of style because he has never been in style.
    He had rickets and was unable to walk until he was seven.
    He had a Jewish mother and Irish father, and joked that he was the only O'Connor to have a bar mitzvah.
    He is an impeccable dresser. (The Daily Mail: 'The word dapper might have been invented for Des.')
    He set a record by performing at the London Palladium over 1,200 times.
    As a talk show host, he was known for putting his guests at ease. ('I've always said to the producers, if we could get Genghis Khan on, we'd get a smile out of him.')
    He was a good sport, even appearing on Morecambe and Wise's 1975 Christmas show in a sketch that mocked him.
    He said about fathering a son in his 70s, 'I had people saying I was selfish. But what's selfish about that? How can you say to a woman you've been with for 15-odd years, 'No, I've got four and we're not having any more?'. That would be selfish.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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