British chef Keith Floyd dies at age 65

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

British chef Keith Floyd has died at the age of 65 after a heart attack in Dorset, England.

Keith Floyd was best known for his cookery programmes, particularly on British television channel BBC, although he has also featured on shows on ITV. He was arguably most popular for his Floyd on series, with shows like Floyd on Food, Floyd on Spain, Floyd on Italy etc. He also presented Floyd on GMTV in 1998. Keith had been presenting programmes from 1984 to 2001.

On July 29, it was reported that Floyd had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in June. After undergoing five serious operations, 90% of the cancer was removed. He later had chemotherapy. He died on Monday of a heart attack in his partner's house in Dorset, England.

Famous chefs around the world have been expressing their sadness for his death and made comments about him to British newspaper, The Guardian. Among them was Rick Stein, who said, "I first met Keith in the early 80s. He used to come to the restaurant regularly and knew Padstow well because his first wife came from Port Isaac. At a time when I was experimenting with Provençal dishes like Bouillabaisse and Bourride he was a Gauloise-smoking, red wine drinking hero who had actually owned a restaurant next to the Mediterranean. One thing was certain — he cooked like a dream and loved food and wine with a passion."

Other cooks such as Michel Roux, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Heston Blumenthal expressed condolences. Gordon Ramsay stated, "Keith Floyd was a true original. A natural performer and a superb cook, he broke new ground with his programmes and his contribution to television cookery was immense."

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Marco Pierre White stated that, "A little piece of Britain died yesterday which will never be replaced. He was an individual, he was a maverick, he was mercurial, he was magical, he was special, he was rare."

Keith Floyd died on September 14, the same day a documentary was broadcast on Channel 4 called Keith Meets Keith, which featured comedian Keith Allen interviewing Keith Floyd. It emerged that his death was just a few hours beforehand, however the information was unknown at the time of broadcast.

Celia Martin, who was staying with Floyd at the time of his death, gave an interview with London local newspaper Evening Standard.

"When we got home he had a siesta and got up feeling a bit headachy. We had both eaten a lot so I put it down to that. He laid down on the sofa and I thought he went to sleep. Then suddenly his breathing became erratic," Martin said. "I phoned for an ambulance and the operator gave me instructions on how to help him. He didn't say anything at all. The ambulance people were here for about an hour. They thought there was a chance they could save him. It was so bizarre, we were sitting down to watch the documentary at 10pm but by that time he had died."


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