15 Sep 2009

British celebrity chef Keith Floyd dies

10:33 pm on 15 September 2009

British celebrity chef Keith Floyd has died following a heart attack. He was 65.

Floyd had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in June. He shot to fame in the 1980s in ground-breaking cookery shows, fronted with huge enthusiasm and wine glass in hand, the BBC reports.

Fellow chef Marco Pierre White described Floyd as a "natural cook" who "inspired a nation" with his programmes.

At 22, Floyd opened his first restaurant, Floyd's Bistro, in Bristol, and its success quickly led to him running three establishments.

But a lack of business acumen that would plague him throughout his career soon forced him to sell up, after which a restaurant in France also proved a failure.

It was on his return to Bristol, running a new bistro, that Floyd was discovered by television producer David Pritchard.

Their 1985 series, Floyd on Fish, was an instant hit, and subsequent series took the chef all over the world. He wrote more than 20 books, and his autobiography is due to be published in October.

The programmes were ground-breaking at the time for taking the cooking out of a studio, but it was Floyd's wine-fuelled flamboyance that viewers loved.