Sandi Toksvig pays tribute to 'lovely' 15 to 1 host William G Stewart

Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has paid tribute to “lovely” 15 to 1 host William G Stewart, calling him a “consummate TV professional”.

The Bake Off host added it was “sad news” to hear of his death on Thursday.

Stewart, who was 84, was 15 to 1’s host from 1988 to 2003, with Toksvig taking over in 2014.

Channel 4 was “saddened” by the news, saying the “broadcasting legend” had “inimitable style” which “set 15 to 1 apart from all other quiz shows”.

“Our thoughts are with his friends and family” the broadcaster added.

Comedian Adam Hills, who hosts the Celebrity Fifteen To One series which first screened in 2013, raised a fond smile with his tweet, saying: “Even if I had three feet, I’d never have filled his shoes.”

Another longstanding Channel 4 quiz show, Countdown, also paid tribute, calling Stewart “our C4 brother of old”.

Stewart, who died after a brief illness, made 2,265 episodes, met almost 34,000 contestants and presented at least 350,000 questions.

He originally wanted Jonathan Ross to present 15 to 1, only taking the job himself when nobody more suitable could be found.

The former Butlins redcoat, who began his television career behind the camera, produced and directed comedies including Father Dear Father, Bless This House and Love Thy Neighbour.

In the 1980s he turned to game shows, working on such ITV favourites as Family Fortunes and The Price is Right.

He married his third wife Laura Calland, a voice-over artist for 15 to 1, in 1997.

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