Bob Holness, the former host of Blockbusters has passed away, at the age of 83, Bbc News have reported today (January 6, 2012). A report from his family states that he "died peacefully in his sleep" early this morning. The TV and radio personality had been in a nursing home, having recently suffered from a number of strokes. He has been survived by his wife, Mary, as well as three children and seven grandchildren.
Holness was born in South Africa but moved to Kent, England, as a young child. In 1956, he became the second actor ever to portray the role of James Bond, in a radio adaptation of Moonraker. He started working for the Bbc in the 1960s, presenting Late Night Extra alongside other well-known radio personalities such as Terry Wogan, Michael Parkinson and Keith Fordyce. Between 1971 and 1982, Holness worked as the announcer on The Generation Game, which, during those years, was presented by Bruce Forsyth and Larry Grayson. He was best known, however, for presenting the TV gameshow Blockbusters in the UK. The show ran from 1983 to 1994 and involved contestants having to make their way across a hexagonal board answering trivia questions. It became well known for the phrase "can I have a P please Bob?"
After Blockbusters, Holness went on to present the long-running Bbc panel game, Call My Bluff between 1996 and 2002. In the mid-90s, his health started to deteriorate; a stroke in 2002 led to temporary paralysis.