Tom O'Connor (comedian)
Thomas Patrick O'Connor (31 October 1939 – 18 July 2021) was an English comedian, television presenter, and actor. Originally a comedian in working men's clubs, his career progressed to hosting game shows such as Crosswits, The Zodiac Game, Name That Tune, Password and Gambit.
|Birth name||Thomas Patrick O'Connor|
|Born||31 October 1939|
Bootle, Lancashire, England
|Died||18 July 2021 (aged 81)|
Slough, Berkshire, England
|Notable works and roles||Star of The Comedians and Crosswits on ITV|
O'Connor attended St Mary's College, Crosby, and Saint Mary's College, Twickenham. He became a mathematics and music teacher at the St Joan of Arc School, Bootle, and was also assistant headmaster. After work he appeared as a comedian in working men's clubs.
His television break came when he appeared on The Comedians. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was one of the most popular faces on British TV. He was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life in 1977 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
He continued to host many shows including Name that Tune, Wednesday at 8, The Tom O'Connor Show, Gambit, Crosswits, and many more including The Tom O'Connor Road Show for the BBC. This show ran daily at lunch times and was watched by over 12 million viewers each day, but was an expensive show to mount as it came live from a different town each week, requiring the production team to move weekly. The show had several young producers who were overseen by executive producer Steve Weddel, and came out of the now defunct BBC Pebble Mill Studios. The script was written by O'Connor and writer Barry Faulkner, who had worked with O'Connor on his previous shows, with up-to-the-minute changes being made just before broadcast.
In 2000, O'Connor made his television acting debut as Father Tom (a Catholic priest) in the BBC series Doctors. On 24 February 2006, he was given an award for having appeared as a guest on the TV programme Countdown 100 times. O'Connor won Celebrity Come Dine with Me, scoring a record-breaking 29/30, on 14 March 2010.
In 2011, O'Connor appeared on Pointless Celebrities, a celebrity edition of the BBC One gameshow Pointless, with his daughter-in-law Denise Lewis (the gold medal winning Olympic heptathlete). They reached the final, eventually winning £500 for charity.
- Tom O'Connor's Book of Liverpool Humour (1987)
- Tom O'Connor's Book of the World's Worst Jokes (Pestalozzi Children's Village Trust, 1991)
- From the Wood to the Tees: An Amusing Golf Companion (Robson, 1992)
- One Flew Over the Clubhouse (Robson, 1993)
- Take a Funny Turn (Robson, 1994)
- Follow Me, I'm Right Behind You! (Robson, 1995)
- Eat Like a Horse, Drink Like a Fish (Robson, 1996).
- Fit to Travel (Acer Designs, 2004)
- Golf...is Where You Find It (Acer Designs, 2005)
- Is There Anything in that Empty Box? (Acer Designs, 2005)
- I Remember: the Collected Thoughts of Tom O’Connor (Acer Designs, 2008)
- "Tom O Connor Death: English Comedian Tom O Connor is Dead, Obituary". Retrieved 18 July 2021.
- "Friends of St Mary's College". St Marys College.
- "News from St Mary's". stmarys.ac.uk.
- "Tom O'Connor obituary". The Guardian. 19 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
- www.9xb.com. "Tom O'Connor". Prime Performers.
- Bonner, Neil (12 April 2014). "Whatever happened to Name That Tune's Tom O'Connor?".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "O'Connor back on song". 9 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Thompson, Damian (12 March 2010). "Tropic of Cancer, BBC One, Celebrity Come Dine with Me, review".
- "Series 1, Pointless Celebrities – BBC One". BBC.
- "Comedian Tom O'Connor dies aged 81". BBC News. 18 July 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
- "Tom O'Connor." People of Today. Debrett's Ltd., 2007. Biography in Context. Web. Retrieved 2014-5-22