Much-loved Gogglebox star Leon Bernicoff dies aged 83
Much-loved Gogglebox star Leon Bernicoff has died aged 83, Channel 4 have confirmed.
The channel confirmed on social media today that the TV favourite had passed away after a short illness.
They paid tribute to the TV favourite's "unique personality and sharp wit".
The retired teacher and his wife June were one of the first couples to join the show's cast when it launched in 2013.
Leon is survived by his wife June, two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.
Channel 4 and 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.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend and #Gogglebox legend Leon. We will all miss him so very dearly. Our thoughts are with June and family at this incredibly sad time.— C4 Gogglebox (@C4Gogglebox) December 23, 2017
"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.
RIP Leon Bernicoff pic.twitter.com/zcNYoPAERs— Matty Allen (@xMattyAllen) December 23, 2017
"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."
Gogglebox creator Tania Alexander tweeted: "So deeply saddened at the passing of our dear, dear Leon. He was and always will be the grandfather of #gogglebox - an absolute star who always made me laugh with his sharp wit and unshakable opinions. Much love and strength to June."
TV presenter Scarlett Moffatt has paid tribute to her former Gogglebox co-star.
She wrote on Twitter: "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."