Des O’Connor looked to be in high spirits as his daughter visited him, in what is believed to be the last picture of the star.
The beloved entertainer died yesterday at the age of 88, after suffering a fall a week earlier at his home in Buckinghamshire.
Just weeks before his death, his youngest daughter Kristina shared a picture of her father, as she paid him a socially distanced visit.
Kristina, a singer who performs under the name Tarantina, posted a ‘how it started/how it’s going’ meme on October 11, sharing a TV Times cover from October 1987 on which O’Connor held her as a newborn.
The cover was posted alongside a photo of Kristina cuddling her father with the caption: ‘how it started how it’s going (except not since Feb ‘cos COVID).’
Kristina, 33, then shared a picture of herself kneeling outside the window of O’Connor’s house, giving the camera a thumbs up and wearing a t-shirt bearing her father’s name and face.
O’Connor could be seen through the window, grinning and giving a thumbs up, with Kristina captioning the picture: ‘Essential travel to the Drive Thru for my Happy Meal.’
Kristina is O’Connor’s fourth daughter and only child from his marriage to Jay Rufer; O’Connor is also survived by daughters Karen, Tracy and Samantha, and his son Adam, who he shared with wife Jodie Wilson.
O’Connor often spoke of his pride of Kristina’s career on social media, with his final tweet in February promoting her taking part in a boxing match to raise money for vulnerable LGBTQ+ homeless people.
He tweeted: ‘In just a few weeks, my youngest daughter will be fighting in her first ever boxing match! She’s fighting to raise money for a great cause. Let’s hope her initials aren’t K.O. for nothing!’
And last year, he tweeted: ‘Congratulations to my daughter who sold out her first headline show on Saturday. I couldn’t make it but she sent me this to let me know I was there in spirit!’ – sharing a photo of Kristina wearing a Des O’Connor t-shirt.
Right Said Fred remembered O’Connor’s pride for his kids, as the duo tweeted: ‘He was a lovely man. His daughter was in a band, he would turn up looking really dapper at The Greyhound or some other grubby music venue to support her.’
O’Connor’s longtime agent Pat Lake-Smith confirmed in a statement that the Take Your Pick host had died in hospital, where family had visited him.
She said: ‘It is with great sorrow that I confirm that Des O’Connor passed away yesterday. He had been admitted to hospital just over a week ago, following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire.
‘He was recovering well and had been in great spirits, visited by his family – in accordance with hospital lockdown regulations – and looking forward to going home.
‘Unfortunately yesterday evening his condition suddenly deteriorated and he drifted peacefully away in his sleep.’
She added that he was ‘so well loved by absolutely everyone. He was a joy to work with – he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional.
‘He loved life, and considered enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen. He adored his family – they were everything to him. He is survived by his wife Jodie, their son Adam and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.
‘Jodie’s world is shattered, she and Adam and Des’s daughters are hurting more than you could possibly imagine.’
Tributes have poured in from the world of showbiz, with his former colleagues Melanie Sykes and Carol Vorderman sharing their memories of O’Connor.