Tributes are pouring in for the director, who also worked on the iconic interview show Parkinson and BBC Quiz show Pointless, as well as being the voice of Robot Wars.
‘You didn’t work in showbiz until you were directed by Stuart’
Producer Richard Woolfe shared the news on Twitter, writing: “I’m absolutely heartbroken that my wonderful Stuey – Stuart McDonald died today in a car crash.
“He was a great friend and an exceptional kind loyal talented telly loving director. My Stuey, sort out the Gallery in Heaven now. Your Ricky.”
Television producer Richard Marson wrote on Twitter: ‘Very sad to hear of the death of prolific TV director Stuart McDonald. He was brilliant at the often taken for granted art of multi camera direction & his talkback was always enjoyably witty. I can hear him now on That’s Life!saying, “cue the Esther person!”’
Children’s TV comedy duo Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood - also known as Dick and Dom – replied to Marson’s tweet, writing: “A one off. You didn’t work in showbiz until you were directed by Stuart.”
BBC Radio Oxford’s David Prever - who got his first ever broadcasting gig from McDonald four decades ago - also discussed the sad news on his morning show.
He said: “In a week that’s already full with reflection and sadness, I woke to some really upsetting news this morning that the man who gave me my break doing this 40 years ago died yesterday.
“I doubt you would have known him but I guarantee you would have seen his work over the years,” he added.
“He worked for many years as Senior Director of the BBC and he was responsible for pretty much most of the light Entertainment Television while I was growing up; Parkinson, Top of the Pops, all of the audience with shows, all of the Royal Variety shows and the National Lottery for years,” Mr Prever said.