Actor and TV presenter Geoffrey Hayes, who hosted long-running children's programme Rainbow, has died of pneumonia at the age of 76.
In a statement, Hayes's manager, Phil Dale, said: "It is with great sadness that the family announce that Geoffrey passed away from pneumonia in hospital with his wife, Sarah, and son, Tom, by his side.
"Geoffrey Hayes (born 13 March 1942) was an English television presenter and actor, best known as the host of Thames Television's top-rated children's show Rainbow, and for his portrayal of Detective Constable Scatliff in the successful TV series Z Cars for the BBC.
"The family would like to express their thanks to the many fans over the years as it always gave Geoffrey so much pleasure to know that he and his Rainbow team had given so much fun to TV and theatre audiences over the years.
"There will be no further comment at the moment and it would be appreciated if the privacy of Geoffrey's family is respected at this most difficult time."
Hayes appeared alongside the puppets Zippy, George and Bungle in more than 1,000 episodes of Rainbow from 1974 until 1992, having taken over from original host David Cook.
He played the long-suffering adult in the Rainbow house on the show, which aired several nights a week to children across the UK.
In 2002, Hayes, who struggled to find work after Rainbow was cancelled, said the secret to the programme's enduring popularity was that it was full of "magic, innocence and imagination".