Tributes are being paid by members of the TV industry following the news director Stuart McDonald has died in a car crash.
Audiences will be very familiar with McDonald’s work, which includes the Strictly Come Dancing companion show It Takes Two, BBC quiz Pointless and legendary interview programme Parkinson.
Producer Richard Woolfe shared the news on social media, in a tweet that read: “I’m absolutely heartbroken that my wonderful Stuey – Stuart McDonald died today in a car crash.
“He was a great friend and an exceptional kind loyal talented telly loving director. My Stuey, sort out the Gallery in Heaven now. Your Ricky.”
I’m an absolutely heartbroken that my wonderful Stuey - Stuart McDonald died today in a car crash. He was a great friend and an exceptional kind loyal talented telly loving director. My Stuey, sort out the Gallery in Heaven now. Your Ricky 💔 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/MDMWZIwNEA— Richard Woolfe (@richardwoolfetv) April 12, 2021
BBC Radio Oxford’s David Prever discussed the news on his morning show, having secured his first ever broadcasting gig – a hospital radio slot – from McDonald four decades ago.
He said: “In a week that’s already full with reflection and sadness, I woke to some really upsetting news this morning that the man who gave me my break doing this 40 years ago died yesterday.
“I doubt you would have known him but I guarantee you would have seen his work over the years,” he continued. “He was responsible for pretty much most of the light entertainment television when I was growing up.”
RIP Stuart McDonald, the man who gave me a break, four decades ago. One of TV's greats. Such sad news today. pic.twitter.com/jBm4wDBX15— David Prever (@DPrever) April 13, 2021
In addition to a wide range of entertainment programming, McDonald once tried his hand at science fiction when he took the reins of BBC One’s Doctor Who for a Children In Need special titled Dimensions In Time.
The brief skit brought together five stars of the long-running series – Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy – for a light-hearted adventure that crossed over with EastEnders.
Genre fans may also know McDonald for his work on the cult classic BBC series Robot Wars, where he worked as both director and the distinctive voice of the show, instructing Roboteers and counting down to battles.