One of the founders of the Brighton Comedy Festival, Addison Cresswell, has died of a heart attack at the age of 53.
Mr Cresswell represented Jonathon Ross, Jo Brand, Jack Dee and many other comedians having graduated in 1981 from Brighton Polytechnic – now Brighton University.
A statement on the website of his company Off The Kerb today (Monday 23 December) said: “Agent, producer and charity fundraiser Addison Cresswell passed away in his sleep at home last night at the age of 53.
“Widely considered to be one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry, his clients included Jack Dee, Lee Evans, Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre, Dara O Briain, Jo Brand and Sean Lock.
“He leaves behind a proud legacy in his tireless charity work, initiating and organising the annual Channel 4 Comedy Gala in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“It was his dearest wish to raise enough to fund the opening of a brand new wing of the hospital, a goal that is now in sight.
“Addison will be fondly remembered by all whose lives he touched as a devoted mentor, a dear friend and an unforgettable character. He will be sorely missed.
“He is survived by his beloved wife, Shelley, his dogs Bonnie and Nessie and many, many pet fish.”
Mr Cresswell, the older brother of Luke Cresswell, of Stomp fame, went to Falmer High School, now the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA), before becoming an art student at Brighton Poly.
While a student he sang in a band called The Vitamins but, as the student union entertainments officer, he proved more adept at the entrepreneurial side of the business. He energised the Basement Club in Grand Parade.
After graduating he set up a production company and became the agent to successive generations of comedians.
Twelve years ago he helped to establish the Brighton Comedy Festival with William Burdett-Coutts.
Latest magazine tweeted: “Sad news about sudden death of Addison Cresswell, who has many links with Brighton.”