TV presenter Maggie Philbin has issued a statement paying tribute to her late ex-husband Keith Chegwin.
The 62-year-old married Cheggers in 1982 after they co-hosted BBC children’s show Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. And although the couple divorced in 1993, they remained good friends.
Now, following the star’s tragic death aged just 60, Maggie has posted an emotional message to her website, in which she describes the news as “incredibly sad”.
Keith passed away earlier today following a long battle with the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and shortly after, Maggie posted a blog to her website entitled “Sad news”.
Referring to the father of her daughter, she said: “I am sure you will have seen the heartbreaking news about Keith, who died earlier today.
“It is incredibly sad. Keith was a one-off. Full of life, generous and with a focus on things that mattered – his family.
“I saw him two months ago at his sister Janice’s [DJ Janice Long’s] wedding, where he was still attempting to be the life and soul of the party despite being on portable oxygen, and made sure he knew how much he meant to us all.
Our daughter Rose flew home from San Francisco to be with him over the last few weeks, and I know he was surrounded by so much love from his second wife Maria, their son Ted, his sister Janice, his twin brother Jeff and his father Colin.
“Keith was loved by everyone who knew and worked with him.”
Maggie then reminisced about the couple’s early days when they were two of TV’s brightest young talents.
She gushed: “I first met him when we did a film about windsurfing when I joined Swap Shop in 1978, and was immediately struck by his fun, energy and kindness.
“He drove me home to Leicestershire from that freezing lake in Staines, insisting it was on his own way home (he lived in Twickenham).
“He leaves us all with very special memories. Please respect the family’s wish for privacy.”
Another celeb to honour the late Dancing On Ice and Celebrity Big Brother star is Cheggers’ Swap Shop colleague Noel Edmonds.
The 68-year-old issued a statement saying: “The greatest achievement for any TV performer is for the viewers to regard you as a friend, and today millions will be grateful for Keith’s contribution to their childhood memories, and like me they will mourn the passing of a friend.”
Janice Long is yet to publicly comment on her brother’s death.