The TV presenter’s agent, Julia Wyatt, confirmed the news of his death on Thursday (21 September), revealing that he died “after a brief illness”.
She said (via BBC News): “Sadly William G Stewart passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family after a brief illness.”
Although best known for his 15-year stint presenting the Channel 4 quiz show, which he did from 1988 until 2003, he also served as a TV producer and director.
Among the shows he worked on behind the scenes include the sitcoms ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ and ‘Bless This House’, as well as gameshows ‘The Price Is Right’ and ‘Family Fortunes’.
In fact, William was initially only supposed to be a producer on ‘Fifteen To One’, only agreeing to present it himself when plans to snare his top choice, Jonathan Ross, fell through.
Prior to breaking into the entertainment industry, William worked in the 1960s as a private secretary to the MP Tom Driberg, making a documentary about him in 2009.
Throughout his career, William never shied away from voicing his support for causes he believed in, such as when he gave a speech during one infamous episode of ‘Fifteen To One’ about how he felt the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece.
In 2009, he also appeared on ‘Daily Politics’ to speak in favour of the BBC licence fee.
William is survived by his five children, and his wife, Laura Calland, who previously worked as the voiceover artist on ‘Fifteen To One’.
He was married twice before, first to Audrey Harrison and later actress Sally Geeson, who he met while working on ‘Bless This House’.