Des O’Connor’s daughter has paid a heartbroken tribute to the late entertainer and recalled their deeply emotional last moments together.
Kristina O’Connor, 32, said she is distraught but was consoled that she and her father managed to ‘say what we needed to say to one another’ before he passed away last week aged 88.
Herself a singer in
And sharing a touching picture of her kissing him, she said: ‘Even now, the saddest I have ever felt, Daddy can still make me laugh.’
O’Connor enjoyed a celebrated 50-year career in showbusiness and hosted the hit prime-time show Des O’Connor Tonight.
Kristina O’Connor, 32, said she is distraught but was consoled that she and her father managed to ‘say what we needed to say to one another’ before he passed away last week aged 88
O’Connor enjoyed a celebrated 50-year career in showbusiness and hosted the hit prime-time show Des O’Connor Tonight (pictured in 2012)
Herself a singer, she revealed that O’Connor began to well up as she gushed about how proud she was when people likened her to him in a statement
In a statement shared on her social media this afternoon, Kristina, who goes professionally by Tarantina, said: ‘It is impossible for me to adequately explain how heartbroken I am, but I wanted to say something of his last moments together (covid-safely), just the two of us, and to say what we needed to say to one another.
‘I told him about the deep feeling of pride in my belly whenever somebody points out how similar we are, both as performers and as people.
‘He told me that I was going to make him cry if I carried on talking like that (as he dabbed at his eye).
‘The other things we said were just for us.’
O’Connor’s death on Saturday was announced on Sunday and sparked a flood of tributes from the entertainment industry, led by his former co-presenter Melanie Sykes.
He had been admitted to hospital just a week before following a fall at his Buckinghamshire home but was recovering and in ‘great spirits’ while being visited by his family in accordance with hospital
A photo released in the aftermath of his death showed him smiling through the window at his family.
A photo released in the aftermath of his death showed him smiling through the window at his family
His music career began in 1967 with the release of his first single Careless Hands (pictured: Des O’Connor in 1967)
The all-round entertainer had been ‘looking forward to going home’ but his condition ‘suddenly deteriorated’ and he ‘drifted peacefully away in his sleep,’ his longtime agent and family friend Pat Lake-Smith said.
Kristina, O’Connor’s youngest daughter and only child with third wife Jay Rufer, said growing up with a famous father was sometimes challenging but she had been staggered by the ‘outpouring of love’ since his death.
She continued: ‘It wasn’t always easy to share my Dad with the rest of the world. Sometimes I just wanted him all to myself.
‘But, after witnessing such an overwhelming outpouring of love and warmth in tributes, being able to share him now feels, itself, like one more gift.
There’s so much more that I want to say, but maybe I can’t find the words.
But thank you all for sharing your thoughts, your condolences, and your favourite moments from his career.
‘I’m discovering old clips and photos that I’ve never seen before and it brings me comfort. Even now, the saddest I have ever felt, Daddy can still make me laugh.’