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Play School presenter Brian Cant dies aged 83

The popular children’s presenter had been living with Parkinson’s disease

Hanna Fillingham

Brian Cant, best known for presenting BBC’s Play School and Play Away, has died aged 83 after battling Parkinson’s disease, his agent has confirmed. The former children’s TV presenter died at retirement home, Denville Hall. A statement from his family read: "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.

"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."

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Brian Cant has died aged 83

Brian was born in Ipswich in 1933 and got his big break in 1964 as a presenter of Play School and later the show’s spin-off Play Away. He also worked on shows including Milkshake and voiced children's show Trumpton’s famous fire brigade roll call of "Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub." He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1999.

In 1984, Brian married writer and director Cherry Britton and they had three children together.

After the statement was released on Monday, celebrities flocked to social media to pay tribute to the much-loved children’s presenter. 

 

Brian’s fellow Play School presenter Tony Robinson wrote: "Brian Cant was my mentor & friend on Playaway. We wrote and performed together for two years. Always patient, courteous, & funny P-L-A-Y R-I-P."

 

 Meanwhile, Derek Griffiths posted a throwback photo of the Play School cast, writing: "Sad to hear about the passing of Brian Cant. Thoughts go out to his family and friends." 

 

Zoe Ball also paid her respects, writing besides a photo of Brian and Tony Robinson: "Dear Brian Cant. Love this pic of him & @Tony_Robinson for playaway in 70s hero of my childhood."

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