Lionel Blair RIP: He lit up every room he went into
Lionel Blair had “a shining personality that lit up every room he entered”, says Jimmy Cricket.
Veteran entertainer, TV presenter and dancer Lionel died aged 92 on Thursday.
His amazing stage and screen career spanned eight decades.
Northern Irish comedian Jimmy has shared on social media the photo above of him with Lionel.
“Lionel had both talent and enthusiasm,” recalled Jimmy fondly.
“Catch his remarkable duet tap dance routine with Sammy Davis Jr on YouTube.
“The world is a sadder place without him.
“R.I.P. old friend.”
Lionel was best known as a team captain on game show Give Us A Clue.
In recent years, he acted in Ricky Gervais’s Extras and also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.
Born in Canada in 1928, he had moved to the UK as a young boy.
Henry Lionel Ogus, as he was known before his showbusiness career, began performing in air raid shelters during World War Two.
He grew up in north London and was evacuated to Oxford when the war broke out.
His father died when he was 13 and the following year he began working as an actor.
He performed in musical productions alongside his elder sister Joyce.
But it was his self-taught dancing skills for which he was best known.
He became a household name as team captain on ITV’s long-running Give Us A Clue opposite Una Stubbs, who died earlier this year.