Amanda Holden has remembered Captain Sir Tom Moore as a “real beacon of light in a time of real darkness”.
The radio and TV presenter also said listeners to her Heart Breakfast show have been calling for a statue of Sir Tom to be erected.
The veteran fundraiser died aged 100 on Tuesday in Bedford Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Holden said: “I said on my Instagram, he was a real beacon of light in a time of real darkness and he kind of brought us all together and reminded us what an amazing, strong, stoic generation he came from, and it was an example to us all.
“I always feel enormously sad – Piers (Morgan), I know you were close to your grandmother, I was to mine, and then you see Tom go, and I take it quite personally, because you think it’s another member of that generation that we’ve lost. We will never see the likes of them and their sense of humour and that indomitable spirit ever again, I don’t believe.”
Holden joined Susanna Reid in celebrating Sir Tom’s sense of humour and humility.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge said: “I’m really glad that we’re celebrating his strength and his legacy, but his sense of humour, because it’s very British, and I think without that kind of backbone in humour none of us would get through anything, we wouldn’t have got through any wars, we wouldn’t be getting through this terrible pandemic, but I think it’s that sense of humour and his selflessness.
“Again, it’s that generation of people that have that spirit, isn’t it?”
GMB presenter Morgan recounted Sir Tom’s appearance on his ITV series Piers Morgan’s Life Stories where, when asked what he would like for his dressing room, the centenarian said he wanted “a bottle of Coke, a Dairy Milk chocolate and six blondes”, later joking that the “number six is variable, of course”.
Holden added: “And a lot of our listeners this morning (on Heart) have been calling for a statue of him to be popped up somewhere. That’s definitely one that wouldn’t get torn down, but I think that should be your next petition, Piers.”
Sir Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS.
Following news that this year’s series of Britain’s Got Talent will not take place, Holden praised it as the “right decision”.
She told Morgan and Reid: “I have to say, I think it’s the right decision. It was a difficult one I know… we were all trying to find a way around it, but I think for it to be done safely and with the fifth judge, which is everyone that watches, it’s a show that is impossible to do without an audience, so I’m really glad the decision was eventually… the one that was made, it’s the best option.”
ITV said in January that BGT was pulled from the schedules to safeguard “the wellbeing and health of every person involved in the programme”.