TV and singing star Val Doonican dies, aged 88

(Image credit: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Archive)

An entertainer who once knocked The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper from the top of the charts, Val Doonican, has died at the age of 88.

Irish-born Val was a hugely popular figure in the 1960s and 70s and The Val Doonican Show was a staple of Saturday nights and Christmases, featuring stars of the calibre of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.


His family said he died 'peacefully' in Buckinghamshire on Wednesday night.

Velvet-toned Val became known for his colourful array of jumpers while his hits included Walk Tall, The Special Years and Elusive Butterfly and he had five top 10 albums in the 1960s.

The Val Doonican Show ran from 1965 to 1986 on BBC1 and Val continued performing well into his Eighties.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn, and children.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.