Terry Seabrooke, the popular entertainer and magician who delighted audiences around the world, has died.

Mr Seabrooke, 78, of Beechcroft Road, Bushey, passed away this morning with his family at his side.

The veteran entertainer, a multi-award-winning member of the Inner Magic Circle, began performing when he was still at school, wowing audiences with his unique brand of comedy magic.

He enjoyed nearly half a century in the professional limelight, performing twice at The London Palladium, three times for The Queen at Buckingham Palace, and even to troops in the Falklands Islands after the 1982 war.

He appeared on numerous television shows during the 1970s and 80s, counted some of the biggest names in show business as personal friends and also authored two hugely popular magic books: Seabrooke’s Book: Around the World with a Baking Tin and Beyond Compere.

He continued performing until the final year of his life and was awarded one of the Magic Circle’s highest accolades in November 2009 for his services to British magic.

In receiving the highly coveted Maskelyne Award, named after renowned 19th Century magician and inventor John Nevil Maskelyne, he will forever be remembered alongside household names such as Paul Daniels, David Nixon and Ali Bongo.

Speaking to the Watford Observer in his final interview just days after receiving the award, Mr Seabrooke, who was also president of the Watford Association of Magicians, reflected on his life on stage.

He said: “Magic has been very kind to me and has given me a great life. I have travelled the world and met some wonderful people along the way.

“When I started all those years ago I never thought I would go this far. It was really just a hobby that took off.

“I realised I was quite good at what I was doing and had the ability to make people laugh.

“I was working full-time in insurance sales but soon found I was earning more from the magic and decided to go full-time.

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”