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UK TV’s David Withers dies at 80

Produced 'Saint,' 'Prisoner,' 'Muppets'

British TV exec David Withers, who served as distribution director for ITC, died Jan. 4 in the United Kingdom. He was 80.

Withers worked with the influential TV and film production and distribution outfit for more than 30 years, overseeing production, post production, publicity, foreign versions, release prints and distribution.

Withers started in the British film industry in 1944 as a production runner. He then became a sound editor, where he worked on films including “Alfred Hitchcock’s “Stage Fright.”

When ATV, later known as ITC, launched in 1955, Withers moved to Britain’s fledgling TV industry, coordinating operations between producers and the broadcasters.

Under Lew Grade, he teamed with Bernard Kingham to launch ITC’s production business, working on shows such as “The Avengers,” “The Saint,” “The Prisoner” and “The Muppets.”

ITC then branched into feature films, and Withers helped oversee titles including the Pink Panther movies, the Muppet Movies, “On Golden Pond” and “The Eagle Has Landed.”

He is survived by his wife, Pat, two sons, a daughter and three grandchildren.

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