Bill Cotton was one of the absolute greats: a shameless showman, a true populist, a scheduling wizard, a variety stalwart, an inspiration and mentor to thousands, and damn near responsible for every show TV Cream holds dear.
He seemed to have been around forever, a vital link with the traditions and practices upon which the best of British telly was built, but still holding forth and dispensing pearls of wry and witty wisdom long after retirement. It’s horrible to think of the world without him.
Forget all latterday pretenders to the throne, all latecomers to the crystal bucket, all modern day broadcasting suits and nabobs and bean-counters: Bill Cotton was and always will be your real, textbook, genuine TV hero.
There’s now a proper tribute on the site.