TV industry pays tribute to voice of 'Robot Wars' Stuart McDonald

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19:  Robots clash at the Robot Wars Live show ahead of the new season of the hit TV show on The BBC during day 1 of the November Birmingham MCM Comic Con at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK on November 19, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Ollie Millington/WireImage)
Robots clash at the Robot Wars Live, 2016 (Ollie Millington/WireImage) (Ollie Millington via Getty Images)

Tributes are being paid to BBC director Stuart McDonald after the television professional was killed in a car accident this week.

McDonald’s directing roster included, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, Pointless and interview programme Parkinson.

Robot Wars fans may also know McDonald for his work on the cult classic BBC series, where he worked as both director and the familiar voice of the show, instructing Roboteers and counting down to battles.

Producer Richard Woolfe shared the news on social media, in a tweet that said: “I’m absolutely heartbroken that my wonderful Stuey – Stuart McDonald died today in a car crash."

"He was a great friend and an exceptional kind loyal talented telly loving director. My Stuey, sort out the Gallery in heaven now."

Stuart’s death was also announced on BBC Radio Oxford with presenter David Prever telling listeners that the man who had given him his first ever broadcasting gig had died:

“I woke to some really upsetting news this morning that he man who gave me my break doing this 40 years ago – I was 12 years old – died yesterday.

“I doubt you would have known him but I guarantee you will have seen his work over the years. His name is Stuart McDonald."

Stuart McDonald directed many episodes of BBC shows such as Pointless Celebrities (Endemol Shine UK Ltd t/a Remarkable Television Production)
Stuart McDonald directed many episodes of BBC shows such as Pointless Celebrities (Endemol Shine UK Ltd t/a Remarkable Television Production) (BBC/Endemol Shine UK Ltd t/a Remarkable Television Production)

“He worked for many years as Senior Director of the BBC and he was responsible for pretty much most of the light Entertainment Television while I was growing up; Parkinson, Top of the Pops, all of the audience with shows, all of the Royal Variety shows and the National Lottery for years.”

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“It was his name there saying cue Terry, cue Gabby, cue Lenny, and all of those things. And right up to date with The Chase, Pointless and so many other shows.”

Children’s TV duo Dick and Dom – real names Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood paid their respects to the late director on Twitter.

‘A one off,’ they wrote. ‘You didn’t work in showbiz until you were directed by Stuart. X

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Former editor in chief of Blue Peter, Richard Marson tweeted:

"Very sad to hear of the death of prolific TV director Stuart McDonald."

X-Factor winner, Steve Brookstein performs.   (Photo by Edmond Terakopian - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
X-Factor winner, Steve Brookstein performs (Edmond Terakopian/PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images) (Edmond Terakopian - PA Images via Getty Images)

"He was brilliant at the often taken for granted art of multi camera direction & his talkback was always enjoyably witty."

"I can hear him now on That's Life! saying, "cue the Esther person!"

To which one former colleague of McDonald's, Joanna MacDonnell replied: "I'm devastated, I owe Stuart so much, he had faith in me."

"So many treasured and happy memories of studios and OBs and the jaunts up to BBC Manchester."

"Rest in peace my friend."

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