Gogglebox star Leon Bernicoff has died aged 83 after a short illness
The retired teacher and his wife June were one of the first couples to join the Channel Four show’s cast when it launched in 2013.
In a statement on behalf of Bernicoff’s family, Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad news that after a short illness Gogglebox’s Leon Bernicoff passed away in hospital earlier today.
“Leon and his wife June were the first members of the public to be cast for Gogglebox back in early 2013, and they soon grew to become much-loved voices during the course of the show’s 10 series to date.
“Leon’s unique personality and sharp wit endeared him to fans of the show, as he contributed fully to Gogglebox’s reputation as a programme full of warm humour and unvarnished opinion.
“To those of us that knew him personally, Leon was a man of unwavering principles who exerted a distinct paternal presence both on and off screen. He will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family; cast and crew.
“Our thoughts are with June, his two daughters, sons-in-law and beloved grandchildren – all of whom have asked for their privacy to be respected at this incredibly sad time.”
TV presenter Scarlett Moffatt paid tribute to her former co-star. Writing on her Twitter account, she said: “Words can’t explain what you meant to so many people. From your words of encouragement to me to the little DMs. Leon you were loved by so many. Sending my love to you and all of your family.”