|Date of Birth||28 December 1943, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, UK|
|Date of Death||26 June 2005, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, UK (complications from heart surgery following pneumonia)|
|Birth Name||John Richard Whiteley|
Mini Bio (1)
John Richard Whiteley, a staunchly proud Yorkshireman, was a much-loved television presenter and journalist, born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1943. He was best known for being the presenter of the long running UK Channel 4 television show Countdown (1982).
However, prior to this he was primarily a journalist, working as a reporter for Yorkshire Television, one of whose claims to fame being that he had interviewed every British Prime Minister since Harold Macmillan. He was also the first journalist to interview the then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher after the IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party conference week in 1984.
Countdown was originally scheduled to run for only five weeks when it began in 1982 as an inception show for the then brand new UK television channel Channel 4, but the show went on to run for 23 years under his presentation, averaging four million viewers per week.
Whiteley will also be remembered for his taste in clothing, every single episode wearing a different garishly coloured tie along with an equally loud, sometimes striped, jacket. Never one to appear superior to his guests he was always self-effacing and "bumbling" - a word often used to describe him by his closest friends.
In 2004 he was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, an award of which he was said to have been very proud.
In May 2005, he was rushed into intensive care suffering from pneumonia, and although he appeared to be making a slow but steady recovery, doctors found that he had an infection in one of his heart valves. He was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary and underwent an operation to correct this. The operation went well but unfortunately two days later he suffered a heart attack and did not regain consciousness.
He will be deeply and sadly missed by his family, his closest friends and his fans, an all-round truly decent man.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Phil Caldwell
|Candy Watson||(6 June 1973 - 1975) (divorced)|