Mel Sykes tears up as she remembers ‘amazing friend’ Des O’Connor (Picture: ITV)
Mel Sykes was seen tearing up as she remembered her ‘amazing friend’ Des O’Connor in a special episode that aired on ITV paying tribute to the late star.
On Sunday night, legendary TV star Des, who died aged 88 in November, was honoured in an hour-long show that took a look back at his life and career over the years.
His celebrity friends appeared throughout the episode sharing their memories of Des, along with the star’s wife, who recalled the very first time she met him in a car park at Thames Studios.
Jonathan Ross called Des a ‘genuine star’, while Mel fondly spoke of her former co-star Des and how he ‘always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye’.
Tearing up as the episode came to an end, Mel told viewers: ‘I just remember him being an amazing friend to me and I’ll miss him, it’s that simple.’
She also spoke of her time filming ITV series Today With Des and Mel for four years between 2002 and 2006 and insisted she had ‘learnt a lot’ from working alongside Des.
Mel fondly remembered her former co-star (Picture: ITV)
‘Des had that spring in his step, you’re either youthful or you’re not. he was just lit up from the inside, he’s special that way,’ she said. ‘He was across everything, that’s his genius really, the preparation behind looking so relaxed and spontaneous.’
Mel continued: ‘Des’ success meant a lot to him, [the show] was like a new phase for him. It was obviously extremely important that it worked. It was just mind-blowing the response to us and it was so quick.’
‘It was just a really successful show, I’ve got so many wonderful memories of the show,’ the presenter told viewers. ‘We’d just laugh at each other, they were very special times.’
Des died ‘peacefully in his sleep’ on November 14, while in hospital surrounded by his family. He had been admitted to hospital a week prior to his death, following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire.
Mel was one of the first to pay tribute to Des following his death, with the former I’m A Celebrity star sharing an emotional post on Instagram that read: ‘Des had the softest hands of anyone I ever met and the kindest of hearts. He had talent in every fibre of his being and was stubborn as a mule. He was the full ticket as a friend and colleague.
‘When he chose me to be his co host on the ‘Today’ daytime show it was one the greatest days of my professional life. It was an education and a privilege to work with him for the years that followed. We worked long hours but always laughed lots, not least because when it it was showtime he would always tell me I looked like robbers dog! ‘
‘These years I will never forget and nor will I forget him. Darling Des you will be forever missed. Melanie,’ she signed off.
Des was one of Britain’s most loved entertainers and hosted a series of his own primetime shows, including The Des O’Connor Show and Des O’Connor Tonight, over his 45-year long career in television.
He is survived by wife Jodie, their son Adam and his four daughters.
Des O’Connor: The Ultimate Enteratiner is avaialble to watch via catcup on the ITV Hub.
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