William G Stewart (1935-2017)

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Brock
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William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by Brock »

Just heard of the death of the producer and presenter William G Stewart, at the age of 82. Best-known as presenter of Fifteen to One, of course, but also producer/director of Father, Dear Father, Love Thy Neighbour, Bless This House, My Good Woman, Spooner's Patch, The Rag Trade, Family Fortunes, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, The Price is Right and much else besides.

Left Field
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by Left Field »

I'm sorry to hear this news. I caught "Fifteen To One" occasionally and liked the show. I felt William's smart look and calm, understated approach were very welcome when we're so used to game show hosts (even on daytime TV) who want to be "characters" and the star of the show. Perhaps it helped that he had spent most of his career behind the camera and didn't feel the need to hog the limelight.

Mark
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by Mark »

That is very sad news, as a big sit-com fan, he was ( as mentioned above) responsible for countless classics, hugely talented.

Plus his natural style as host on "Fifteen To One", of course.

Another VIP of the golden age of TV...gone.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

Brock
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by Brock »

Left Field wrote:I'm sorry to hear this news. I caught "Fifteen To One" occasionally and liked the show. I felt William's smart look and calm, understated approach were very welcome when we're so used to game show hosts (even on daytime TV) who want to be "characters" and the star of the show. Perhaps it helped that he had spent most of his career behind the camera and didn't feel the need to hog the limelight.
I'm told that he decided to present Fifteen to One himself because he couldn't find anyone else who was sufficiently knowledgeable. (Could be a myth, of course.)

I preferred the show in the WGS era - the emphasis was entirely on the questions, not on chit-chat with the contestants. It's quite significant (as I've commented before) that the Sandi Toksvig version follows almost exactly the same format, but is twice as long (including commercial breaks).

One other appearance worth commenting on was his one-off in the chair of the 1997 Countdown Christmas special, where Richard Whiteley took on Carol Vorderman. He also hosted eight episodes of a quiz called Famous People, Famous Places for Thames TV, which was never networked - perhaps because Thames went off the air a fortnight after it finished!

Brian F
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by Brian F »

And, of course, he was once married to Sally Geeson, with 2 children.

wittoner
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by wittoner »

Really sad to hear this.
I had a good run on 15-1 with 5 victories and a grand Final appearance spread over nearly 3 years and so I met William several times. A very good man with no side to him. A great loss.

TonyCurrie
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by TonyCurrie »

Bill was a chum of many years' standing. For a lengthy period we attended the Edinburgh Television festival together and always arranged to meet in the bar of the George Hotel as early as was decently possible for our first champagne of the weekend. Indeed one year I seem to recall for four days we never left the bar once to attend any of the the Festival sessions!!!

He also did a few big favours for me and was always a kind, witty, thoughtful and intelligent companion whose take on the state of things was always worthy of consideration.

I last spoke to him a year or so ago and I knew he'd become pretty frail. But still a gentleman.

He'll be missed. I hope there's champagne waiting for him wherever he is now.

Brock
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by Brock »

It's worth noting that if it hadn't been for WGS, Fifteen-to-One almost certainly wouldn't exist. The format was invented by a salesman for BT, John M Lewis, who was watching at home and thought he could do better than the game shows that were currently on TV. He took the names of a handful of producers from the Radio and TV Times, and sent the idea to them on spec. Four of them rejected him and two didn't bother replying. It was only WGS who saw the potential in the idea and bought a two-year option to develop the show. (It was originally going to be called Twenty-to-One, but WGS's company Regent Productions cut down the number of contestants to fit the time slot.)

simon10011
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Re: William G Stewart (1935-2017)

Post by simon10011 »

Only just seen this!! Sad news!!
Remember seeing him on a couple of documentaries about Sid James and telling stories of how Sid would ask him to go and put bets on for him!
Seemed like a great guy! R.I.P

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