10:19 01 September 2009
British television chat show host and radio disc jockey Simon Dee has died of bone cancer at the age of 74.
During the swinging 60s, Dee became an iconic face of British entertainment with his Saturday evening 'Dee Time' program ranking as one of the most popular television shows of its era with a peak audience of 15 million. The show ran from 1967-1969.
Dee was one of the first disc jockeys to join the BBC's new Radio One after starting his career on the pirate station Radio Caroline (which he helped launch) in 1964.
The star also presented 'Top of the Pops' as well as landing cameo film roles in 1969's 'The Italian Job' and 'Doctor in Trouble' in 1970.
Following an alleged pay dispute with the BBC, Dee's star power waned after he moved to commercial rival London Weekend Television, virtually disappearing from the airwaves.
His decline took an even further fall from the world of entertainment after he was forced to seek unemployment benefits, spend time in jail for unpaid debts and even became a bus driver.
His daughter Domino Henty-Dodd told the BBC that Dee's bone cancer had been diagnosed only weeks ago and could not be treated.
She stated: "It happened very, very quickly. He was dearly loved by his family."
Dee, whose real name was Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd, interviewed stars like Sammy Davis Jr, Lee Marvin, Bob Hope, Charlton Heston and John Lennon on his twice-weekly chat show 'Dee Time'.
Dee was married three times and is survived by four children and four grandchildren.
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