Bob Monkhouse was one of the most treasured personalities on British TV for decades.
And as well as fronting the likes of The Golden Shot, Family Fortunes, Opportunity Knocks, Bob’s Full House, Celebrity Squares and Wipeout, he also acted and hosted on the radio.
First and foremost, however, Bob’s career hinged on his comedic excellence.
He had an encyclopaedic capacity for recalling gags and one liners and could play to many different audiences.
A Channel 5 show about Bob Monkhouse’s life and work airs tonight (Tuesday, December 29).
But when did the TV star leave us? And what other career highlights should you keep an eye out for on the programme?
When did Bob Monkhouse die?
Today is the 17th anniversary of Bob Monkhouse’s death.
He passed away at home in Bedfordshire on December 29 2003.
Bob was 75 at the time, having marked his birthday some months earlier in June.
If still alive today, Bob would now be 92!
What did Bob Monkhouse die of?
Bob Monkhouse passed away due to prostrate cancer.
He was diagnosed with the condition in September 2001.
Remarkably, he featured in an advert concerning prostate cancer over three years following his death.
His posthumous appearance involved computer animation and a voiceover from another actor.
The ad showed him in a graveyard, purportedly next to his grave, making pointed jokes about the illness.
‘Bob’ signed off: “As a comedian, I’ve died many deaths. Prostate cancer, I don’t recommend. I’d have paid good money to stay out of here. What’s it worth to you?”
What are some of his most memorable career moments?
It felt like Bob was rarely off TV.
And during the later years of his career – when most performers slow down – that was pretty much the case due to his regular National Lottery hosting job. He presented the broadcast for two years between 1996 and 1998.
And at the same time, for five years from 1998, he also presented popular game show Wipeout.
Bob was also a Royal Variety Performance staple and hosted numerous chat shows with his name attached. As an actor, his credits included Carry On Sergeant and Thunderbirds Are Go!
Bob was given an OBE for services to entertainment in 1993. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy from the British Comedy Awards in 1995.
Bob Monkhouse: Master Of Laughter airs on Channel 5 tonight – Tuesday, December 29 – at 9pm.
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