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Tributes have been made to Ipswich born ‘legend’ presenter and actor, Brian Cant, who has died at the age of 83

PUBLISHED: 19:16 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 21:36 19 June 2017

Brian Cant and Carole Ward present Playschool in 1964. Picture: BBC

Brian Cant and Carole Ward present Playschool in 1964. Picture: BBC

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The former BBC Two children’s TV host had been living with Parkinson’s Disease, his agent said.

Brian Cant visits the house in which he lived as a youngster in Lancing Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVEBrian Cant visits the house in which he lived as a youngster in Lancing Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Tributes have been made after Brian Cant, best known for presenting children’s TV programme, Play School, on BBC 2, died yesterday, June 19.

According to his agent, the former BBC Two children’s TV host had been living with Parkinson’s Disease after being diagnose in 1999.

Brian Cant with co-presenter Toni Arthur.Brian Cant with co-presenter Toni Arthur.

A statement from the family said: “It is with great sadness that we, his family, have to announce that Brian Cant has died aged 83 at Denville Hall.

“He lived courageously with Parkinson’s Disease for a long time.

Play Away presenters Toni Arthur and Brian CantPlay Away presenters Toni Arthur and Brian Cant

“Brian was best known and well-loved for his children’s programmes Play School and Play Away and was honoured by BAFTA in 2010.

“Donations would be most appreciated to Denville Hall and the Actors’ Benevolent Fund.”

Children's TV presenter, Ipswich-born Brian Cant, who has died aged 83. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVEChildren's TV presenter, Ipswich-born Brian Cant, who has died aged 83. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Denville Hall is a retirement home often used by those in the entertainment industry.

Cant was born in Ipswich and attended Northgate Grammar School for Boys - now known as Northgate High School - before moving to Buckinghamshire where he married writer and director Cherry Britton; sister of TV presenter Fern Britton and actor Jasper Britton.

Brian Cant chats with feature writer Steve Russell during a visit to the house in which he lived as a youngster in Lancing Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVEBrian Cant chats with feature writer Steve Russell during a visit to the house in which he lived as a youngster in Lancing Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVE

On November 28, 2010, he received the special award at the Children’s BAFTAs for his work in children’s television.

Cant’s previous work included appearances in the 1995 film, A Feast at Midnight, starring Christopher Lee, Doctor Who, as well as the BBC One daytime drama, Doctors, where he appeared three times playing three different characters.

Brian Cant and wife Cherry visit the house in which he lived as a youngster in Lancing Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVEBrian Cant and wife Cherry visit the house in which he lived as a youngster in Lancing Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER/ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Many celebrities took to Twitter to pay their respects to the .

Actor, comedian, author and fellow presenter, Tony Robinson, said: “Brian Cant was my mentor & friend on Playaway. We wrote and performed together for two years. Always patient, courteous and funny”.

Radio One presenter, Zoe Ball, shared a picture of Brian with Tony Robinson filming for Playaway in the 70s, saying that he was the “hero of my childhood”.

Many fans also took to social media, with one mother saying that he was “a legend in children’s television. I took my boys to the theatre to see him”.

One fan from Felixstowe said: “I remember him so well from when my children were small. A great presenter.”

Another said: “Thank you for creating many good childhood memories”.

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