Former BBC radio presenter Ernie Almond has died after a short illness

Ernie Almond, one-half of the former Ern and Vern Show on BBC Three Counties Radio, has died at the age of 80.

His co-host Jonathan Vernon-Smith paid tribute on Tuesday, saying: “My dear friend Ernie Almond passed away peacefully this afternoon. I was lucky to have him in my life for 31 years. I’m heartbroken! I’ll miss you Ern! X.”

Ernie had a long and varied career in the media including as a children’s entertainer and journalist.

He originally worked for Marconi Instruments in Bedfordshire but left to become an entertainer. He went on to host childhood parties for Prince William and Prince Harry.

Jason Horton, BBC Local Radio Director of Production, said: “Ernie Almond was one of the most creative and talented broadcasters I have met.

“He made everyone who worked with him, listened to him or ever met him, laugh. A gentleman in every sense and incredibly kind. Thoughts are with you Jonathan Vernon-Smith and his family & friends.”

More recently, Ernie was broadcasting on Black Cat Radio in Cambridgeshire. The station posted a tribute on its website, saying: “Ernie has been an integral part of the station over the past 6 years, devoting his time to do the thing he was most passionate about, making great radio and touching the lives of those he broadcasted too.

“Ernie’s contribution to the station is immeasurable and has been nothing short of immense and his legacy will continue both at Black Cat Radio and across the wider area.

“Our thoughts are with Ernie’s family at this difficult time.”