Gerry Anderson’s family say they’re “heartbroken” by his death.
The late broadcaster’s wife, son and daughter have released a statement in which they pay tribute to him as a “loving husband, father and grandfather.”
The BBC broadcaster passed away on Thursday following a long illness.
Speaking on behalf of the Anderson family, Gerry’s wife, Christine, says they have been “overwhelmed with the love expressed for Gerry, even in the few short hours since he passed away.”
She added: “I always knew that Gerry was hugely popular. His humour, intellect, creativity and talent made him a great broadcaster and author. The great outpouring of grief today showed us how much he touched the hearts and lives of all who knew him and who followed him.”
Christine described her husband as a “the most courageous and best friend anyone could ever have.”
“We are immensely proud of the courage and dignity with which Gerry dealt with his illness over the past two years,” she added. “He will always be an inspiration to us all.
“As a family, David, Kirsty and I are heartbroken but we know the prayers, good wishes and love of the public will help sustain us at this terrible time.
“Gerry was a very private man away from his professional life and we wish to respect that. We would ask people to respect our privacy in the coming days. For that reason, we will be keeping our home private.
“However, I understand that people want to show their love and appreciation for Gerry in a public way. One way of doing this would be to attend Gerry’s funeral at St Eugene’s Cathedral on Sunday morning (11am). Another way might be to make a donation to the Foyle Hospice in lieu of flowers.”