TV magician Tony Junior dies from Covid after refusing to have vaccine

TV magician Tony Junior dies from Covid after refusing to have the vaccine because his wife was ‘super apprehensive’ about getting jabbed

  • Tony Junior was admitted to hospital in early August after contracting Covid-19
  • Entertainer, who performed across North East, documented his battle with virus
  • In a Facebook post, he said no one on his critical care ward had received the jab
  • South Tyneside Council confirmed his death, paying tribute to beloved magician

A TV magician has died from Covid after refusing to have the vaccine because his wife was ‘super apprehensive’ about getting jabbed.

Tony Junior, who appeared in the Channel 4 reality show Seasiders, was admitted to hospital at the start of his month after contracting the virus.

The entertainer had documented his battle with the disease on social media, saying no one on his critical care ward had received the jab.

He penned on August 15: ‘I’m only writing this because anyone apprehensive about the vaccine, you need to know what could be your alternative.’  

South Tyneside Council confirmed his death on Monday, paying tribute to the magician who ‘brought smiles to the faces of so many children and families’.

Tony Junior (pictured in hospital), who appeared in the reality show Seasiders, documented his battle with the disease on social media, saying no one on his ward had received the jab

Mr Junior wrote on Facebook: ‘Everyone who is apprehensive has their story. I’m not preaching, just letting you know of my experiences.

‘It’s a game of Russian Roulette. You take the vaccine or take your chances with Covid.

‘On the critical care ward, none of us had the jab. I hadn’t had it because Mrs J was super apprehensive, so was waiting for her to be ready. She now beats herself up every night since I came in hospital despite my reassurances.

‘On the Covid ward, many are senior citizens who have had two jabs and all those who have returned home since my arrival – had both jabs.’

In his final post on August 18, the children’s entertainer said he was at a ‘critical stage’ with a ‘very low level of oxygen’ in his blood.

Tributes have now poured in for the beloved performer, who was described as a ‘very good friend’ and ‘professional entertainer of the highest order’. 

Mr Junior started working in the entertainment business in 1985 as a Butlin’s Redcoat before featuring in Seasiders in the 90s.

Known for his eccentric style and ‘Aloha’ catchphrase, he went on to spend more than three decades organising hundreds of events across the North East. 

Mr Junior (pictured above) started working in the entertainment business in 1985 as a Butlin’s Redcoat before featuring in  Channel 4’s Seasiders in the 90s

Tributes have now poured in for the beloved performer, who was described as a ‘very good friend’ and ‘professional entertainer of the highest order’

James Piatt, secretary of the Newcastle Magic Circle, said: ‘Tony was a professional entertainer of the highest order. He was a mentor, a wonderful magician, but above all else, he was our very good friend. 

‘The NMC would not be the flourishing club it is today without Tony’s passion and enthusiasm.

‘Tony spent many years serving on the council as our secretary in which time he helped to grow the club and all of it’s members.’

He added: ‘Tony was always one of the biggest and brightest personalities at all of our meetings and played a vital role in all of our successes.

‘From giving encouragement to our newest members to providing support to elderly members that were no longer able to attend meetings. 

‘From creating strong bonds with other magic clubs and communities around the world to reshaping and hosting our annual dinner, Tony was at the heart of it all.

South Tyneside Council confirmed his death on Monday, paying tribute to the magician (above, with his dog Harry) who ‘brought smiles to the faces of so many children and families’

‘Tony was so loved by all that knew him as is evident by the many, many tributes that are being sent by magicians and entertainers from around the world.

‘TJ will be dearly missed by us all and his memory and spirit will continue to live on through the NMC.’

And the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay, told The Shields Gazette: ‘Tony was very well respected in the entertainment industry and much loved by South Tyneside audiences.

‘As a firm favourite in our annual events programme, he brought smiles to the faces of so many children and families over the years.

‘We are certainly going to miss his wonderful performances full of fun, games, magic and mayhem.’

Mr Junior is survived by his wife Claire and a fundraiser has been set up in his memory for Bryson Animal Shelter. 

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