'Rainbow' presenter Geoffrey Hayes has died.

Geoffrey Hayes

Geoffrey Hayes

The 76-year-old presenter-and-actor - who was best known for hosting the classic children's show - passed away in hospital surrounded by his family after contracting pneumonia.

His manager Phil Dale said in a statement: "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.

"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."

Geoffrey took over as host of 'Rainbow' from David Cook in 1974 and appeared alongside puppet pals Zippy, George and Bungle in over 1,000 episodes in 1992.

He also portrayed Detective Constable Scatliff in drama series 'Z Cars' in the early 1970s.

In 2002, Geoffrey spoke of how touched he was when fans approached him to thank him for being a vital part of their childhoods.

He said: "Practically all the time people come up to me and it really breaks me up because they thank me for being part of their childhood. It makes me want to cry sometimes."