Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing producer Richard Hopkins dies

Richard Hopkins
Image caption Mr Hopkins was also an executive producer on shows including Fame Academy

Richard Hopkins, a TV executive who developed, pitched and produced Strictly Come Dancing, has died from cancer at the age of 47.

Mr Hopkins also helped to sell Strictly to the US and was executive producer on season one of Dancing With The Stars.

His other credits included series producer for the first Big Brother.

David Mortimer, who co-founded production company Fever Media with Mr Hopkins, paid tribute to "one of the greatest producers of his generation".

Mr Hopkins worked on Strictly while he was creative head of format entertainment at the BBC, a role he held between 2003-2006.

The format was eventually sold to more than 35 different countries.

During his time in the role, he oversaw and worked as an executive producer on shows including Mastermind, The Weakest Link and A Question of Sport.

He also worked as an executive producer on shows including the BBC's Fame Academy and Sky One's Fear Factor and was series producer of Channel 4's The 11 O'Clock Show which helped to launch the careers of Ricky Gervais and Sacha Baron Cohen.

At Fever Media, set up in 2006, he was executive producer on shows including The People's Quiz on BBC One, and BBC Three's Move Like Michael Jackson.

His joint managing director at Fever Media, David Mortimer, said: "Television is, by its nature, an ephemeral business, so very few of us can hope to have any lasting legacy.

"Richard was a glorious exception to this rule and, as one of the greatest producers of his generation, he quite literally got the world dancing."

BBC entertainment commissioning controller Mark Linsey also hailed Mr Hopkins as "one of the leading entertainment producers of his generation".

"His drive, energy and passion was an example to us all and whatever the size of the project, regardless of the broadcaster, he gave it the same professionalism and dynamic approach."

He added: "People who had the pleasure of working with Richard will always remember him as a joy to work with and someone absolutely dedicated to his profession."

Mr Hopkins, who died on Saturday, is survived by his wife Katy and his three daughters.

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