Gogglebox star Pete McGarry has died aged 71, it has been announced.
The TV favourite died at the weekend, with his family by his side, following a short illness, according to Channel 4, which broadcasts the show, and production company Studio Lambert.
A statement issued on behalf of the family said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Gogglebox star Pete McGarry passed away at the age of 71 this weekend with his family by his side after a short illness.”
Mr McGarry, along with wife Linda and her son, George Gilbey, originally joined the Channel 4 programme for its second series in 2013.
They later returned to the show for the seventh series in 2016 and have continued to appear as series regulars.
The statement continued: “Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew.
“Our thoughts are with Linda, their children and grandchildren.
“Since 2000, Pete and Linda have fostered over 100 children and he is a beloved father, husband and grandfather. The family have asked for privacy at this sad time.”
The statement added that Mr McGarry’s death was not related to Covid-19.
TV star Paddy McGuinness was among those paying tribute to McGarry on social media. He wrote in a tweet: “Such a shame, one of the OG’s. RIP.”