Being a celebrity is one thing and being one that derives joy in making children all over the world happy is an exceptional gift. Keith Chegwin was not just an entertainer, he was also a name that gave joy to the younger ones and that was what he dedicated most of his life doing alongside his work as an actor. He also hosted his own game show ‘Cheggers Bing’. Keith Chegwin is one celebrity that one would call a jolly good fellow; his off-the-cuff ad-lib style of broadcasting gave him an advantage over other presenters.
He made broadcasting and acting more of a passion than an occupation, which was what made him spectacular, and he was very active even until the time he left the world, and we believe his work will continue to have the impacts he intended them to.
Life of Keith Chegwin
Keith Chegwin was a broadcaster and actor born in Walton, Liverpool, on January 17, 1957. He had always had an interest in the entertainment industry right from an early age which was the reason he took part in a talent competition known as End-of-the-pie while in Rhyl, North Whales. He later joined in a concert party ‘The Happy Wanderers’ and they toured the pubs and clubs of the North West. Keith Chegwin went to a stage school with Jeff, his twin brother. He would be invited to London by Phil Collin’s mother, June Collins to audition in Mame a stage show along with Ginger Rogers as a result of his obvious talents. He sang the first song ever written by Phil Collins as part of his play performance in school.
He went for auditions while still in school and got roles to play in several film roles on television and stage such as The Troublesome Double in 1967 and Egghead’s Robot in 1970, where he played the part of Egghead Wentworth. He became well known when he acted in Macbeth, a Roman Polanski film in 1971, where he played the character of Fleance.
He continued featuring in several films and shows, some which are; Open All Hours (1973), Robinhood Junior (1975), Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999), Tom Brown’s School Days which was performed in West End stage, and so many others.
Keith Chegwin also did some disc jockey jobs in Liverpool for 194 Radio City, and also worked for Tony Blackburn’s Weekend morning show on BBC Radio for four years. He was also a singer who has some singles to his name which were released under Pye and Cherub record labels. He was chosen to front Kenny, an English pop band but he declined the offer.
Furthermore, Chegwin went fully into programs presentation putting his acting career on hold. Most of his programs were children’s shows, and some of them are; Multi-Coloured Swap Shop which he presented from 1976 to 1982, alongside Noel Edmunds and Maggie Philbin, Cheggers Play Pops (1978-1986), and others. ‘I Wanna Be a Winner’ was a pop single he released alongside his Swap Shop co-presenters, the single got to number 15 in January 1982.
He had a unique way of presenting his shows that no one writes his scripts for him. He confessed in ‘Shaken But Not Stirred’, his autobiography that his addiction to alcohol slowed down his career during the late 1980s and the 1990s. He stopped drinking on November 5, 1992, after he appeared on This Morning, a Richard and Judy show. After his drinking problems came to an end, he picked up his career and went further to do other great shows like; Down Your Doorstep; a segment on The Big Breakfast, It’s Knockout in 1999 on Channel 5, Naked Jungle, and lots of others.
Chegwin appeared as himself in Extras in 2006. Kill Keith (2011) is a comedy horror movie, and he played himself, he was also in Life’s Too Short. He got awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2012, at the National Reality TV Awards.
He participated in some shows such as; The Chase on October 2013, Pointless Celebrities in 2014, Celebrity Big Brother in the fifteenth series in 2015, and Celebrity Masterchef. He was also to partake in Dancing On Ice during the seventh series, but due to the fractured ribs injury which he incurred during training he withdrew, but he came back for the eighth series and on February 17, 2013, he was eliminated from the show.
Family Facts – Wife, Sister
In 1982, Keith Chegwin got married to his Swap Shop co-presenter Maggie Philbin, and they had a daughter together in 1988 whom they named Rose. Their marriage didn’t last for so long as they got a divorce in 1993. After his divorce from Maggie, he got married to Maria Ann Fielden in 2000, and she gave birth to a son for him Ted, who was born in 1998.
He also has an elder sister, Janice Long, who is a radio and television presenter mostly known for her work on BBC Radio. She was born on April 5, 1955, in Liverpool, Lancashire in England. She was married to Trevor Long but they got divorced in 1982, and she is currently married to Paul Berry. She has two children.
Chegwin has a twin brother called Jeff who is a music PR and also a popular nephew, Hugo Chegwin, one of the creators of People Just Do Nothing, who is also a music producer.
Death of Keith Chegwin – What Did He Die Of?
It was announced on December 11, 2017, by his family that Keith Chegwin was dead. He died in Shropshire, where he moved into earlier that year. He died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease which he has suffered from for a while, his wife, Mari Ann Fielden and children where right beside him the day of his death. He died peacefully shortly past midnight at the age of 60.