Liverpool comic Tom O’Connor has died in hospital today aged 81. O’Connor rose to fame on TV show Opportunity Knocks, which he won three times. He went on to star in The Comedians and host shows including Name That Tune, Crosswits and the Tom O’Connor Show.

Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease fourteen years ago and his condition had worsened in the last two years. He died in hospital this morning with his family around him. Tom’s son Steve Finan O’Connor said he was a “unique comedian who was light years ahead of political correctness”.

Tom’s daughter in law – Denise Lewis said she had watched his TV shows with her mother on Saturday nights and when she first met him, was overwhelmed at how sweet, genuine and kind he was.

A very keen golfer, Tom had been a member of Variety Golf for more than twenty years and will be greatly missed.

“Tom was a good friend, a great supporter and a fine comic who will be sadly missed by all who knew him”. Jimmy Tarbuck, President, Variety Golf