By Andrew Young,

Entertaiments Editor

DAVID BELL, one of British television's most accomplished light

entertainment producers, died, aged 53, at his London home at the

weekend after being ill for several months.

Bell, a Scot who learned his craft with Scottish Television and BBC

Scotland, worked with all of the big names, particularly Stanley Baxter,

Benny Hill, Bruce Forsyth, Dame Edna Everage, Elton John, and Tommy

Steele. He won five BAFTA awards and was the man behind most of the ITV

Royal variety shows.

He had two stints with STV. In the early days, back in the fifties, he

more or less camped on the doorstep before being given a job, first as

floor manager then as cameraman. He went on to produce and direct a

string of shows for both STV and BBC Scotland before going to London

Weekend Television for the first time. With BBC Scotland in the early

sixties, he directed Between the Lines, the first light entertainment

programme to be networked from Scotland.

He came back to STV in 1976 as head of entertainment and drama,

initiating The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie series which marked the

beginning of the company's drama successes on the network.

Bell, a bachelor, later returned to LWT as controller of entertainment

in charge of many of ITV's most popular series.

Before getting into television, he had spent a brief spell working in

a mill in his home town of Hawick, and was particularly proud of the

headline that appeared in his local paper when he won BAFTA recognition

for the Stanley Baxter show. The headline was: ''Mill boy gets top

television award.'' David Macmahon, independent producer/director who

was responsible for the last two STV Hogmanay shows, said: ''He was

superb at engendering great enthusiasm in all who worked with him.

Second best was never good enough for David.''

When Bell realised he did not have long to live he prepared the

''running order'' for his own funeral as though it was for one his TV

shows. He said he wanted it to be like the funeral he organised for his

friend, choreographer and producer Bruce McClure, when waitresses served

champagne to friends following the service.

An STV spokesman said: ''This company owes a lot to David Bell's

talent and vision.''