Passionate racing TV pundit John McCririck dies aged 79

Legendary racing presenter John McCririck has died aged 79 at London’s Princess Grace Hospital following a long period of ill health.

For many years he was the face of Channel 4’s racing coverage and was well-known for his eccentric fashion and deerstalker hat. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Jenny, whom he nicknamed “The Booby”.

Tributes have been made to John from figures across the racing and media industries.

The British Horseracing Authority said: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of John McCririck. Throughout a lengthy and colourful career, one thing was always clear — his enduring passion and love for the sport of horse racing. He was a recognisable figure and resonated with the wider public.”

While 20-time champion jockey AP McCoy said: “Very sad to hear the news of John McCririck’s passing — one of the most recognisable faces from the world of horse racing and great at promoting our sport.”

Broadcaster Piers Morgan said: “RIP John McCririck. He spoke his mind, loved to ruffle feathers, was as funny as he was outrageous, and had such a deep knowledge of and tremendous passion for horse racing. A great British character.”

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John, who was regarded as one of the most recognisable racing broadcasters of his era, appeared on TV reality shows including Celebrity Big Brother. The former Harrow pupil won two coveted awards for journalism during his time working for The Sporting Life in the 1970s.

John was respected across the racing industry and was a familiar face in the betting ring on Channel 4 Racing. John was axed from the show in 2012 prompting him to launch an age discrimination case, which was unsuccessful.

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