Val Doonican
Val Doonican has died at the age of 88Getty

Irish crooner and TV entertainer Val Doonican has died. He was 88. His family said he died "peacefully" at his home in Buckinghamshire on Wednesday 1 July.

Speaking to the Guardian, his daughter Sarah confirmed he had died of old age.

"Until 87, he was as fit as a flea. It was just old age, I'm afraid - the batteries ran out," she said.

In a statement, his family said: "He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by family, friends and his many fans."

The Irish entertainer, synonymous with his rocking chair and cardigan, dominated airwaves in the 1970s.

For more than 25 years, the star was a firm favourite on Saturday night TV thanks to The Val Doonican Show, which ran from 1965 to 1986.

In 1968, his album Val Doonican Rocks knocked The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band off the top of the UK chart.

Paying tribute, fellow entertainer Sir Bruce Forysth described him as a "kingpin" of Saturday night TV.

"He is a great loss to entertainment," he told the Mirror. "He was the kingpin on a Saturday night for the type of thing he did, a musical show with his lovely warm intimate voice and his interviews he did were always so warm and friendly.

Doonican is survived by his wife Lynn and two daughters, Sarah and Fiona and grandchildren Bethany and Scott.