Davina McCall said there is “an enormous hole” in her family’s life following the death of her father on Monday after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The 54-year-old TV presenter announced the news to Instagram and said she was “grateful” that he was not in pain and that she could be with him in his last days.
McCall described him as “the best Dad I could ever wish for” and recalled how he would always make time for his family and had “temporarily adopted” her friends when they needed help.
She shared a photo of her with her father sitting on a beach and wrote: “My Dad, Andrew, died on Monday night.
“He took a turn for the worse on Sunday but thankfully he wasn’t in pain. He was peaceful. I’m so grateful for that, and that we could be with him.
“He was the best Dad I could ever wish for. My sister and I hit the jackpot.
“He always made time for us, opened his (and my amazing mummas) house to all our friends, temporarily adopted mates of mine that needed help.”
She continued: “He was a facilitator, always helping people with intros … he knew everybody. And they all loved him!
“I can’t imagine how many careers and businesses were started because of him. The word legend has been used many times to describe my Dad.
“He was a bon vivante, loved life, positive to the very end… “it just works” was one of the last phrases he was able to say as Alzheimer’s robbed him of the power of speech.
“He lived life. He loved us. And we loved him. With all our hearts. He leaves an enormous hole in our lives.”
Friends and famous faces offered their support to the TV star including broadcaster Fearne Cotton who said: “I love you my friend. Prayers and love to you Dav. Here for you”, while singer Pixie Lott shared a string of heart emojis.
Comedian John Bishop added: “So sorry for you and all the family Davina. I know how much you loved him” and singer Rachel Stevens commented: “Sending so much love”.
The Alzheimer’s Society shared a message of support for McCall, who attended the Brighton Memory Walk in 2017 following her father’s diagnosis.
Kate Lee, chief executive of the charity, said: “We thank Davina and her family from the bottom of our hearts for the incredible amount of awareness they raised around dementia by speaking publicly since Andrew’s diagnosis in 2016.
“When people like Davina share such personal stories it helps break down stigma and spread understanding, which is so vitally important.”
McCall has previously opened up about her difficult relationship with her French mother Florence before she died.
During an appearance on Desert Island Discs, she has described her mother as someone who “always came first” and that “her feelings and worries and life were always more important and we always worked around her”.
The mother-of-three has also admitted she had found it difficult to relax as a parent because she did not want to make the same mistakes as her own addict mother.
McCall has also spoken about her sister Caroline’s sudden death in 2012 after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
She previously admitted she used to worry about the illness but now puts all of her energy into exercise.
McCall has hosted a string of shows throughout her career including Channel 4’s Big Brother, ITV’s Long Lost Family and The Biggest Loser.
She currently sits on the judging panel of the musical competition shows The Masked Singer and its spin-off The Masked Dancer.