TV presenter Geoffrey Hayes, best known for his work on children’s show Rainbow, has died aged 76.
In a statement to the Press Association, Hayes’ manager said: “It is with great sadness that the family announce that Geoffrey passed away in hospital with his wife, Sarah, and son, Tom, by his side.”
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It continued: “The family would like to express their thanks to the many fans over the years as it always gave Geoffrey so much pleasure to know that he and his Rainbow team had given so much fun to TV and theatre audiences over the years.
“There will be no further comment at the moment and it would be appreciated if the privacy of Geoffrey’s family is respected at this most difficult time.”
TV presenter Geoffrey Hayes has died, full statement here: pic.twitter.com/IL9XlESfZE
— Kerri-Ann Roper (@KerrisCorner) October 1, 2018
Hayes became a household name after starring in ITV’s Rainbow alongside puppet characters Zippy, George and Bungle from 1972 to 1997. Sharing similarities with US series Sesame Street, the show helped children with english and maths across 1,000 episodes
Hayes also had a recurring role in BBC1 drama series Z Cars in the early 1970s and appeared on programmes including Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Pointless Celebrities.
His death has prompted a number of tributes posted on social media:
RIP Geoffrey Hayes. Had the pleasure of interviewing the great man for the Z Cars DVD. He was charming, kind, friendly and was moved when I told him I still remembered things he taught me via Rainbow. We kept in touch and I'm really grateful I met him. Thinking of Sarah & Tom x pic.twitter.com/YKvK42o2XK
— Oliver Crocker (@olivercrocker) October 1, 2018
RIP Geoffrey Hayes 🙁 Legendary presenter of the cult kids tv show Rainbow. For us kids who grew up in the 70's & 80's he was part of our family. Condolences to Bungle,George & Zippy #Rainbow #GeoffreyHayes pic.twitter.com/g3N9vJwjEe
— The Beat 'n' Soul (@TheBeatnSoul) October 1, 2018
Very sad to hear that Geoffrey Hayes has passed away! ?
Rainbow might not have been on BBC Children's but it was a classic piece of our childhood.
Paint the whole world with a rainbow ? pic.twitter.com/jOb9Kxlsuv
— CBeebies Grown-Ups (@CBeebiesHQ) October 1, 2018
— Siobhán McHatton (@Alltheway80s) October 1, 2018