Former Tyne Tees 'Crosswits' presenter Tom O'Connor dies at the age of 81

  • Archive footage from Tyne Tees Television

Comedian Tom O'Connor has died aged 81.

The entertainer from Merseyside was best known for presenting a number of hit gameshows including Crosswits, which was produced by Tyne Tees Television.

O'Connor was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease 14-years-ago and his condition had worsened in the past two years.

He died in hospital on Sunday morning with his family around him, they described him as a "true gentleman".

O'Connor's comedy career started out in working men's clubs, however he broke into television on shows including The Comedians and Opportunity Knocks.

He then went on to establish himself as a household name through the 70s and 80s including in Pick Pockets and The Zodiac Game.

O'Connor hosted Name That Tune from 1976 until 1983.

Tom O'Connor fronted Crosswits which was filmed at Tyne Tees Television studios on City Road in Newcastle Credit: Tyne Tees Television

Later in his career O'Connor continued to appear on television, starring in BBC soap Doctors in the early 2000s and the celebrity edition of Come Dine With Me in 2010.

In 2011 he also appeared on the Pointless Celebrities quiz show with his daughter-in-law Denise Lewis, who is a former Olympic athlete.

TV presenter Piers Morgan paid tribute to O'Connor.

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker tweeted: "How sad. I had the pleasure of meeting. Tom O'Connor and he was kind, funny and a true gent. I loved watching him on telly - Crosswits was great.

My sympathies are with his family and friends."