U.K. TV producer helped bring 'Dancing' to U.S.

Richard Hopkins, a British television producer who helped bring “Dancing With the Stars” to the U.S., died Saturday in Britain after an eight-month battle with cancer. He was 47.

Over his 20-year career, Hopkins produced “Fame Academy” and “Fear Factor” in Britain and worked on the first season of reality show “Big Brother” before developing, pitching and producing popular dance contest “Strictly Come Dancing” for the BBC.

He then brought the format to the U.S., where the show was rechristened “Dancing With the Stars.”

Hopkins ran the BBC’s format entertainment division between 2003 and 2006, then launched Fever Media, a joint venture TV company with Sony Music.

Fever Media joint managing director David Mortimer said he felt privileged to be both business partner and friend to Hopkins.

“Television is by its nature an ephemeral business, so very few of us can hope to have any lasting legacy,” Mortimer said in a statement. “Richard was a glorious exception to this rule, and as one of the greatest producers of his generation, he quite literally got the world dancing.”

Hopkins is survived by his wife and three daughters.

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