The man who brought to life the much loved TV puppet Thingee, has died.
In a post on Facebook, Sky Sport confirmed Alan Henderson - the man behind the children's show puppet, died earlier today.
The puppet graced New Zealand TV screens in the nineties, alongside Jason Gunn, in shows such as The Son of a Gunn and What Now.
Gunn said Mr Henderson was a legend, who helped bring out the best in other people.
"He enabled me to be at my best, and so many others to be at their best. Taught us so much, and always with the best sense of humour. Just an incredible man."
He said Henderson had been a camera operator at TVNZ when he offered to voice up a new puppet character.
"There was the puppet, but really there was Alan. Alan was Thingee with all of his humour and his beautiful big heart. Everything that was Thingee was really Alan. He was the creator of Thingee in everyway he could be."
Henderson was in his fifties, and worked for Sky as a sports producer and cameraman where colleagues knew him as "Hendo".
Sky's post described him as a kind and caring person, fanatical Crusaders supporter, cricket tragic, joker - and "a wonderful man who will be hugely missed".
"Today we lost the heartbeat of our sport department. A person we all loved for his positive outlook on life, infectious laugh and big smile," the post read.
He had been battling prostate cancer.
Former children's television star Matt Gibb tweeted about Henderson's death.
"Grateful to have known Al, one of the loveliest men you could have the pleasure of meeting. Never got tired of having Thingee's voice in my ear when he was in the director's seat. Rest in Love mate." Gibb said.
Grateful to have known Al, one of the loveliest men you could have the pleasure of meeting. Never got tired of having Thingee’s voice in my ear when he was in the directors seat. Rest in Love mate.— Matt Gibb (@Matt_Gibb) February 14, 2020
Television producer Ric Salizzo also shared his sadness, saying the TV veteran would be missed by many.
Always loved an Adventure with the great Alan Henderson . Cameraman Director Producer Thingeee and occasional partner in crime . Life doesn’t always makes sense . He’ll be so missed by many .— Ric Salizzo (@ricsalizzo) February 14, 2020