Derek Batey dies

Derek Batey Photo:

Tributes have been paid to the original Mr & Mrs game show host Derek Batey, who has died at the age of 84.

The TV personality, who presented the show throughout the 1970s and 80s, died at a hospice near his home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, on Sunday night following a short illness, ITV said.

Mr Batey, who was born in Brampton in Cumbria, began his career with ITV Border, in Carlisle, when it first began in 1961 and worked there for nearly 25 years.

As well as hosting the long-running couples quiz show, he later went on to front chat show Look Who's Talking.

Both programmes proved so successful regionally that they were added to ITV's national schedule, turning him into a household name.

Harry King, a friend and former colleague, told ITV: "He was a proud Cumbrian. He was a people person and was never happier than when he was talking to people. He could be talking to the Queen or the person next door.

"He ran the iconic Mr & Mrs show but lots of other things too, including the chat show Look Who's Talking.

"He would always let the people he was talking to take the limelight. He will be much missed."

Philip Schofield, the current presenter of the Mr & Mrs show on ITV, shared his sadness over his predecessor's death on social media site Twitter.

He tweeted: "Very sad news that the original Mr & Mrs host Derek Batey has died aged 84. Will be thinking of him when we're next in the studio."