The Chase and Strictly director Stuart McDonald dies in car crash

Stuart McDonald, who was an expert director behind shows like The Chase and Strictly Come Dancing, has died in a car accident.

The BBC boss died in a car crash in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with tributes flooding in from across the television industry.

David Prever broke the news live on air on BBC Radio Oxford on Wednesday morning, telling listeners: "I woke to some really upsetting news this morning that the man who gave me my break doing this 40 years ago — I was 12 years old — died yesterday.

"I doubt you would have known him but I guarantee you will have seen his work over the years.

"His name is Stuart McDonald. He worked for many years as Senior Director of the BBC and he was responsible for pretty much most of the light Entertainment Television while I was growing up; Parkinson, Top of the Pops, all of the audience with shows, all of the Royal Variety shows and the National Lottery for years.

"It was his name there saying cue Terry, cue Gabby, cue Lenny, and all of those things. And right up to date with The Chase, Pointless and so many other shows."

As well as directing shows like The Chase, McDonald voiced the hit show Robot Wars throughout the first seven series, as well as Robot Wars Extreme.

Elsewhere in his impressive portfolio, McDonald worked behind-the-scenes on Top of the Pops, which came to an end in 2006.

Broadcaster Richard Woolfe announced the news on Twitter, remembering the late director as a "loyal" and "talented" man.

He wrote: "I’m absolutely heartbroken that my wonderful Stuey – Stuart McDonald died today in a car crash.

"He was a great friend and an exceptional kind loyal talented telly loving director.

"My Stuey, sort out the Gallery in Heaven now. Your Ricky."

Presenting duo Dick and Dom also remembered their friend, describing McDonald's professionalism behind the scenes on set.

They wrote: "We were so lucky to have worked under his gentle command. Heart goes out to you and his loved ones."

Comedian Justin Lee Collins similarly paid tribute, writing: "He really was one of the good guys. An exceptionally lovely human being. I’m so sorry."

  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • The Chase

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