Des was the only O’Connor to have been barmitzvah boy

ENTERTAINER Des O’Connor, who died on Saturday at the age of 88, used to joke he was “the only O’Connor who ever had a barmitzvah”.

O’Connor, who presented his own prime-time television shows for more than 45 years, was born in London to a Jewish mother, Maude, and an Irish father, Harry.

He wrote in his 2001 memoir Bananas Can’t Fly that he’d inherited “the chutzpah of the Jews and the blarney of the Irish”.

He also wrote that neither of his parents’ respective families were pleased by the match.

O’Connor was evacuated from the East End to the Midlands during the Second World War, where he briefly became a professional footballer with Northampton Town.

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