Addison Cresswell: 'Larger Than Life' Agent Dies
Addison Cresswell, who managed the careers of Jonathan Ross and Jack Dee and was regarded as one of the most influential figures in British comedy, has died at the age of 53.
Cresswell's management company Off The Kerb had also represented Lee Evans, Jo Brand and Alan Carr and his production company, Open Mike, was behind popular TV shows such as Live At The Apollo.
He negotiated the deals which once saw Ross become one of the highest-earners on UK television - the chat show host signed a three-year contract with the BBC for around £18m which ended in 2010.
Following the fall-out from the Sachsgate scandal, Cresswell took his client to ITV where he now has another successful chat show.
A spokesman said the agent and producer "passed away in his sleep at home last night".
Cresswell, seen as a no-nonsense, forceful and larger than life character by many in the industry, got his break in the entertainment industry after becoming entertainments officer at Brighton Polytechnic where he was studying.
His first client was the poet John Hegley and he began his business working from his kitchen table.
He built his empire to such a degree that his acts - who also include Michael McIntyre - often dominate TV comedy shows.
His death has shocked the comedy world with many stars taking to Twitter to leave their tributes.
Stephen Fry wrote: "Oh goodness, I've just heard about Addison Cresswell a larger than life impresario manager. My deepest sympathy to all his family & friends."
James Corden tweeted: "Such sad news. An incredible man. An incredible talent. May he rest in peace x."
Omid Djalili tweeted: "Shocking news about Addison Cresswell. 52. Way too young. I miss the headlocks already RIP."
A spokesman said: "Addison will be fondly remembered by all whose lives he touched as a devoted mentor, a dear friend and an unforgettable character. He will be sorely missed.
"He leaves behind a proud legacy in his tireless charity work, initiating and organising the annual Channel 4 Comedy Gala in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. It was his dearest wish to raise enough to fund the opening of a brand new wing of the hospital, a goal that is now in sight.
He added: "He is survived by his beloved wife, Shelley, his dogs Bonnie and Nessie and many, many pet fish."
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