Gogglebox star Leon Bernicoff has died, aged 83
Leon Bernicoff, one of the original stars of Channel 4's Gogglebox, has passed away at the age of 83 following a short illness.
The retired teacher and his wife June were a beloved fixture on the hugely popular show, having been one of the first couples to join the programme's cast in early 2013.
Channel 4 confirmed the news on Saturday evening in a joint statement with production company Studio Lambert, praising Bernicoff's "unique personality and sharp wit."
"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," read the statement.
"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."
Further tribute was paid by show creator Tania Alexander, who took to Twitter to hail "the grandfather of Gogglebox."
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
Leon had built up quite a highlight reel over the past few years, like the time he took aim at David Cameron with expert coming timing:
Clip via Ashley Penny
And when he dressed to the nines on BBC One's Breakfast show:
Main image via Matthew Pover