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Comedian Tom O'Connor died in hospital on Sunday aged 81, his family has said.

He had had Parkinson's for about 14 years said his daughter-in-law, the former athlete Denise Lewis.

O'Connor rose to fame on TV show Opportunity Knocks, which he won three times.

He went on to star in The Comedians and host shows including Name That Tune, Crosswits and the Tom O'Connor Show.

He leaves a wife and four children.

O'Connor was born in Bootle, Merseyside, and went on to become a maths teacher and assistant headteacher.

He started his showbusiness career as a singer, before introducing comedy into his act – he was still teaching during the day, and performing on the club circuit at night.

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionO'Connor had his own show in the 1980s

He became a professional entertainer in 1972. His career also saw him appearing at the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium and being the subject of This Is Your Life.

As well as hosting quiz shows – which also included I've Got a Secret and Gambit – he was also an actor, starring as Father Tom in daytime soap Doctors. O'Connor also made appearances as a guest in Countdown's dictionary corner.

In a video on his website, O'Connor said: "When I grew up as a kid in wartime Merseyside, I never dreamed I'd have a career that started as a schoolteacher, went to folk singer, then country and western singer, stand-up talker and TV presenter. I've been lucky."

TV presenter Piers Morgan was among those to pay tribute to O'Connor, calling him a "Liverpool legend and a very funny man".

"Sad news. Thanks for all the laughs, Tom," he said on Twitter.

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker tweeted that O'Connor was "kind, funny and a true gent".

Liverpool City Council said: "Sad news breaking about the death of veteran Liverpool comedian Tom O'Connor. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."