Gogglebox is one of Britain’s biggest reality TV programmes and one of its stars, Leon Bernicoff, has died after a short illness, Channel 4 have confirmed.
Leon and his wife June were one of the very first couples to join the show’s cast when it first debuted back in 2013.
The retired teachers were welcomed into the nation’s hearts and have appeared in every Gogglebox series up to now.
Sadly, Leon died in hospital on Saturday following a short illness, aged 83.
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
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.”
“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.”
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 and the Bernicoff family. ?? pic.twitter.com/hFJdkNDBd1
— Tania Alexander (@Tanialalexander) December 23, 2017
The devoted Everton fan was born on October 27 1934 and he met June in 1955, marrying her five years later.
We are so sad to hear that he has passed and we send our love to June, his two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.
Please send your well wishes to June and the family during this difficult time.