Des O’Connor’s youngest daughter has shared a heartfelt tribute to her dad and revealed what was said in one of their tearful moments together.
The beloved entertainer died on Saturday at the age of 88, after suffering a fall at his home a week earlier.
Opening up about her tragic loss for the first time, Des’ youngest daughter Kristina admitted she is ‘heartbroken’ but wanted to speak out after receiving an outpouring of support from fans of her late dad.
Taking to Twitter, Kristina, who goes by the name stage Tarantina, broke her silence by sharing a photo of her cuddling a smiling Des and planting an affectionate kiss on each his cheek.
Alongside it she wrote: “It is impossible for me to adequately explain how heartbroken I am, but I wanted to say something about the passing of my dad. I feel very grateful that we were able to spend some of his last moments together (covid-safely), just the two of us, and to say what we needed to say to one another.
“I told him about the deep feeling feeling of pride in my belly whenever somebody points out how similar we are, both as performers and as people.
“He told me that I was going to make him cry if I carried on talking like that (he dabbed at his eye).
“It wasn’t always easy to share my Dad with the rest of the world,” admitted Kristina. “Sometimes I just wanted him all to myself. But after witnessing such an overwhelming outpouring of love and warmth in tributes, being able to share him now feels, itself, like one more gift.
“There is so much more that I want to say, but maybe I can’t find the words.
“But that you for all sharing your thoughts, your condolences and your favourite moments from his career. I’m discovering old clips and photos that I’ve never seen before and it brings me comfort. Even now, the saddest I have ever felt, Daddy can still make me laugh.
“Thank you,” she finished.
Des leaves behind four daughters and son Adam, who was born when he was 72.
In October, Kristina shared what was the last picture of Des seen in public as she captured the moment she paid a socially distanced visit to his home in Buckinghamshire.
The happy photo showed Des just weeks before his tragic death as he gave a huge grin to the camera.
While she couldn’t hug her dad, Kristina showed her pride by wearing a t-shirt bearing her father’s name and face.
Des often spoke of his pride of Kristina on social media.
In his final tweet in February he promoted her part in a charity boxing match to raise money for vulnerable LGBTQ+ homeless people.
He tweeted: ‘In just a few weeks, my youngest daughter will be fighting in her first ever boxing match! She’s fighting to raise money for a great cause. Let’s hope her initials aren’t K.O. for nothing!”
While last year he tweeted, “Congratulations to my daughter who sold out her first headline show on Saturday. I couldn’t make it but she sent me this to let me know I was there in spirit!’ – sharing a photo of Kristina wearing a t-shirt with his face on.
News of Des’ death was confirmed over the weekend.
His agent revealed he died in hospital yesterday a week after suffering a fall at home.
They said in a statement: “It is with great sorrow that I confirm that Des O’Connor passed away yesterday ).
“He had been admitted to hospital just over a week ago, following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire.
He was recovering well and had been in great spirits, visited by his family – in accordance with hospital lockdown regulations – and looking forward to going home.
“Unfortunately yesterday evening his condition suddenly deteriorated and he drifted peacefully away in his sleep.
“Des, who was 88, was so well loved by absolutely everyone. He was a joy to work with – he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional.”