Comedy agent and producer Addison Cresswell, who made the career of legendary stars such as Jonathan Ross and Jack Dee, has died at the age of 53.
Cresswell, regarded as one of the most honored figures in British comedy, had negotiated the moneymaking deals which once saw Ross as being among the highest-earners on UK Tv channels.
A spokesman said the agent and producer “passed away in his sleep at home last night”.
Clients of his management company Off The Kerb have included Lee Evans, Jo Brand and Alan Carr, and his production company Open Mike has been responsible for a number of popular TV shows such as Live At The Apollo, Stand up For The Week and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala.
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.
A spokesman said: “Addison will be fondly honored by all whose lives he touched as a devoted wise man, a dear friend and an unforgettable character. He will be sorely missed in all Entertainment Industry.