William G Stewart dies at 82 | Former comedy producer turned game-show host

William G Stewart dies at 82

Former comedy producer turned game-show host

William G Stewart, the TV comedy producer and director who found fame in front of the camera on Channel 4 quiz show 15 to 1, has died at the age of 82.

His agent Julia Wyatt said he ‘passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family after a brief illness’,

A former Butlins redcoat, he made his name producing and directing comedies.

He started with variety show for the likes of  Frankie Howerd, Larry Grayson and Tommy Cooper before moving into sketch shows for Reg Varney and Harry Worth.

It was in sitcom where he really found his fame, with credits including  Father, Dear Father, the controversial shows Love Thy Neighbour and Till Death Do Us Par, The Rag Trade and  the hit Sid James sitcom Bless This House. It was on that show that he met second wife, Sally Geeson, who was playing  the daughter of James's character. 

Stewart then moved on to game shows such as Family Fortunes, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush and The Price is Right.

The idea for 15 to 1 came from a former British Telecom sales manager who sold Stewart a 12-month option to explore its potential for £200. He originally wanted Jonathan Ross to present the show, but  reluctantly took the job himself, and presented it from  1988 to 2003.

The show returned to Channel 4 in 2014, hosted by Sandi Toksvig.

Published: 21 Sep 2017

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