William G Stewart
William G Stewart asking the questions on Fifteen to OneChannel 4/YouTube

William G Stewart, the TV producer and gameshow host who became an integral part of the lives of pensioners, students and the unemployed alike thanks to his time helming Channel 4's Fifteen to One, has died. He was 82.

A statement released by the Stewarts said he died "peacefully this morning surrounded by his family after a brief illness".

Fifteen to One ran in its original form from 1988 to 2003, and earned a reputation as the toughest and most prestigious of daily quiz shows. Rather than focussing on gimmicks, celebrity guest stars or banter between host and contestant, the show relied on hard trivia and an easy-to-understand elimination format to determine the winner.

Stewart was a long-time TV veteran, who produced shows like Chris Evans' 90s behemoth Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, Family Fortunes (during the Bob Monkhouse era), and controversial 70s sitcom Love Thy Neighbour.

He was also a great advocate for returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece. An impromptu speech about the benefits of such a move interrupted an episode of Fifteen to One in 2000, earning Stewart harsh reproach from Channel 4 bosses.

Stewart was married three times, including a 10-year commitment to actress Sally Geeson, who he produced for the Sid James sitcom Bless This House.

Fifteen to One has returned to TV in recent years, hosted by Sandi Toksvig.