Jerry Springer dead: Piers Morgan and Trisha Goddard lead tributes to talk show host

·3-min read
Tributes have poured in for Jerry Springer following his death aged 79  (AP)
Tributes have poured in for Jerry Springer following his death aged 79 (AP)

Jerry Springer has been hailed as a “class act” who “excelled” as a talk show host due to his ability to “connect with people in a unique and authentic manner” following his death aged 79.

Springer, who was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Highgate underground station in London while it was in use as a shelter from German bombing during World War II, grew up in East Finchley before immigrating to the US age four.

Springer was best known for hosting controversial The Jerry Springer Show for nearly three decades from 1991.

Prior to his broadcasting career, which included roles as a political reporter and commentator, Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati and a political campaign adviser to Robert F Kennedy.

A spokesperson for his family confirmed that he died on Thursday, with a source claiming he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months ago.

Long-time friend and former colleague Trisha Goddard described Springer as “very loyal” and “a real Mensch,” which is Yiddish for someone to admire and emulate.

Speaking on Sky News, she said: “He was always calm and together and had a really rye sense of humour and really nurtured people.”

The broadcaster noted that he was “proud of his British roots”.

Asked if she had learned anything from her time working with Springer, she replied: “I think one thing that he reminded me of was just to be kind to people who work with you and around you.

“That’s why this one hits so hard because he was so nice and down to earth to the people around you. He wasn’t difficult to work with or anything like that and he just saw himself as one of the team.

“I know he didn’t take himself too seriously, he didn’t see himself as a ‘star,’ and he just had presence.”

“Some people have like a quiet presence, you couldn’t muck him about,” she mused, recalling how he used to always call her “Goddard”.

Television host Piers Morgan, who spent two seasons sitting alongside Springer as a judge on America's Got Talent, described the broadcaster as “an intelligent, warm, funny man”.

“Jeez, this sucks,” Morgan tweeted.

“RIP Jerry Springer, 79. TV icon & such an intelligent, warm, funny man. Loved working with him (on (America's Got Talent), loved hanging out with him (we lived in same hotel for 2yrs), loved arguing with him (he loved his politics), loved everything about him. Gutting.”

Other celebrities flocked to social media to pay their own tributes to Springer.

Writing on Twitter, news anchor Nick Foley penned “His shows over the years could certainly raise some eyebrows but on the few occasions I got to briefly interview him over the years #JerrySpringer was always a class act and a pleasure to speak to. #RIP.”

Comedian Loni Love also took to the micro-blogging site where she shared a picture of her and Springer together.

She captioned the image: “What I loved about Jerry Springer was the way he connected with people in a unique and authentic manner. This is why as a talk show host he excelled… condolences to his family and fans on his passing..”