It has been confirmed that award-winning broadcaster and journalist John McCririck passed away at a London hospital early this morning. John was a larger than life figure who will best be remembered as the eccentric horse racing presenter on Channel 4, becoming a household name when the channel took over the coverage of the sport from ITV in 1984. His flamboyant and eccentric broadcasting style proved to be hugely popular with the viewing public and he continued with the station until 2013.
John suffered ill health over the past few months but he continued to make appearances on television and radio. His frail appearance was blamed on a bad flu which developed into a serious chest infection and this, coupled with a period of unemployment following his departure from Channel 4, was blamed in part for his deterioration in recent months.
Indeed McCririck’s previously popular persona soon turned against him in a period of political correctness and his views – which had previously been deemed completely acceptable – were subsequently viewed as bigoted and chauvinist, this leading to his sacking by Channel 4.
Since then, John struggled with his health and his failed attempt to sue Channel 4 for his sacking was a massive blow. His death will be met with great sadness by his many followers and he is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jenny.