TORONTO — Design personality Chris Hyndman, one half of the lively duo from CBC-TV’s lifestyle series Steven and Chris, has died.
CBC reported that Hyndman’s body was found without vital signs late Monday in an alleyway just east of Toronto’s downtown core. He was 49.
A Toronto Police spokeswoman would not confirm the report, citing privacy concerns and the fact there was no ongoing criminal investigation.
A CBC spokesman confirmed earlier Tuesday that Hyndman had died but provided no other details.
The gregarious style guru rose to fame alongside fellow designer Steven Sabados — Hyndman’s partner onscreen and off — in a series of TV shows that featured the couple’s chemistry and affectionate rapport.
In addition to CBC’s Steven and Chris, that included HGTV’s Designer Guys and Design Rivals and the Slice makeover program So Chic with Steven and Chris.
News of Hyndman’s sudden passing drew condolences from several famous colleagues, including fellow design couple Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan who took to social media to express their sorrow.
“We are so saddened to hear of the passing of Chris Hyndman,” the Scottish decorators posted on Facebook.
“Our deepest sympathies to Steven at this heart breaking time. And our condolences to Chris and Steven’s families and friends.”
CBC colleagues including Murdoch Mysteries star Yannick Bisson and comic Rick Mercer of Rick Mercer Report also weighed in online.
“So very sad to hear of the passing of Chris Hyndman. He was always laughing, always smiling. A great Newfoundland character,” Mercer tweeted.
Hyndman often played the joker, while the more straitlaced Sabados played up a calm and pragmatic demeanour.
In 2007, they launched their own line of furniture, textiles, decorative accessories and area rugs. They launched their own talk show in January 2008, focusing on home decor, entertaining and fashion.
Designer Guys creator and executive producer Mary Darling described the duo as “two wings of a bird.”
“What made the pair, I would say, is the fact that their love and respect for each other was something that was actually able to come through the screen,” said Darling, reached Tuesday in Fairbanks, Alaska.
“So when they disagreed on some way about some design, it was always respectful, there was nothing catty about it.”
Darling credited their charming banter with helping to usher in a wave of other similarly cast design shows, in which an odd couple pair of hosts hashed out design ideas.
“From a design show aspect it just broke all the boundaries when we did Designer Guys. It was a completely new thing on the scene,” she said.
“They’re the perfect complement…. Steven was very grounded and knew what he thought and Chris presented all kinds of options around him.”
Condolences also poured in from Shaw Media, which hosted several of the duo’s shows on HGTV and Slice.
“He was a wonderful and talented man and will be greatly missed,” said Christine Shipton, chief creative officer at Shaw Media, HGTV’s parent company.
“Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and colleagues.”