Max Bygraves dies

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 2 September 2012
Max Bygraves

Max Bygraves

Veteran entertainer Max Bygraves died on Friday (31.08.12) aged 89 at his daughter's home in Australia

Max Bygraves has died.

The former 'Family Fortunes' host passed away at his daughter Christine Green's Australian home on Friday night (31.08.12) at the age of 89, his agent has confirmed.

The London-born singer-and-presenter - famed for his catchphrase "I wanna tell you a story" - had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and though his family admit his death wasn't "unexpected", it was still a "shock".

His son Anthony Bygraves, 65, told Sky News: "He was a natural, he was a great entertainer. He was a good mate - we had a lot of good times together.

"He had become terribly frail, but somehow I hoped that he would be able to see his 90th birthday.

"It wasn't to be. He just slipped away. Although his death isn't unexpected it has still come as a terrific shock. We're all terribly sad.

"It's hard to imagine a world without him but at least I saw him recently. I got a chance to give him a hug and be with him."

Max, who had five children, emigrated to Australia with wife Blossom - who died in May 2011 - in 2005.

His last public performance came in 2006 and his diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease was revealed in March this year.

Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck was one of many stars to pay tribute to the veteran entertainer.

He said: "He had the audience in the palm of his hand quicker than any other comedian I have seen.

"He would stroll on and just wow them. He was one of the all-time greats of British entertainment - a king of the Palladium.

"He would have them roaring with laughter, singing along and with a tear in their eye."

Des O'Connor praised Max as "a good all-round performer" and "a lovely man" who had "a really homely humour".

Ken Dodd hailed the star as "absolutely brilliant - an excellent comedian, a very good singer and quite a good actor".

He added: "He had tremendous charisma, he could handle any big audience, had them in the palm of his hand."

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