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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 ARCHIVE Brian 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 Cant Play 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 ARCHIVE Children'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 ARCHIVE 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 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 ARCHIVE Brian 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”.

7 comments

  • Ashley and others...brilliant Idea. A statue for Brian is no less than he deserves and would brighten up Ipswich Town Centre, it would actually mean something to us all.

    Report this comment

    fnutboy

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • I have just sent this to Ipswich Borough Council. Please feel free to do something similar. "Please, Please, Please hear our humble request. Please can you build a statuemonument in the memory of the truly great Brian Cant who sadly died yesterday. He was born & raised in Ipswich!! He brought happiness to Millions of Children thoughout the 1960's, 1970's & 1980's on BBC TV as the voice & music for variously Camberwick Green, Trumpton, Chigley & Play School & PlayAway He iswas simply a National Institution. We should be proud of Our Town's History & the people who made this Town great. It would be lovely to have a Statue of his most well known Characters (including Windy Miller, PC McGarry, Sgt Snort, Mrs Honeyman & the Musical Box, The Trumpton Mayor) similar to that of Giles Characters - but placed in the Cornhill.

    Report this comment

    Ashley Cook

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • A great children's TV presenter, brings back some great memories from my childhood. Especially the toys from playschool Poppy, Jemima , Humpty and big and little Ted. I always want as i child to have little Ted. I've got to agree with everyone who commented it would be nice for Ipswich to honour him.

    Report this comment

    Jacqueline Norlem

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Agree with fnutboy. Sad news and another part of our childhood gone. Brian's achievements in children's TV is nothing short of immense. And yes, there should be a tribute to him in our town. RIP Brian and thank you.

    Report this comment

    reddgullet

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • How about replacing that nondescript water feature planned for Cornhill, with a statue of the Trumpton Mayor (as a infant I thought Trumpton and Ipswich town hall and mayor were one in the same anyway) as a tribute to Ipswich's Brian Cant?

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • spot on fnutboy. it touched all of us of a certain age. A True Blue, RIP Brian. A statue of some of the characters he bought to life would be a welcome addition to the Town center.

    Report this comment

    Mike Derruki

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • That news brought a tear to my eye. What a warm, wonderful, talented man. His voice was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. Xxx

    Report this comment

    fnutboy

    Monday, June 19, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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