Comedian Sean Lock, best known for panel shows 8 Out of 10 Cats and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, has died from cancer at the age of 58.
A statement from his agent Off The Kerb Productions said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sean Lock.
“He died at home from cancer, surrounded by his family.”
Fellow comedian Lee Mack, a close friend of Lock’s, described the news of his death as “heart-breaking”.
“A true original both in comedy and life. I will miss him so much,” he said.
Tributes have poured in on social media, with 8 Out of 10 Cats host Jimmy Carr stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard among those to pay their respects and praise Lock’s talent.
Carr said on Twitter: “Brutal news about Sean Lock today.
“I loved him. I’m watching clips of him right now – laughing and crying.
“I’ll miss him so much.”
Izzard tweeted: “So sorry to hear this. Farewell Sean, you brought a wonderful comedic talent to the world and you will be missed.”
Comedian David Baddiel called Sean Lock was “one of the funniest men I ever knew”, while Bill Bailey said he “was a true original, a wonderful comic”.
Jason Manford, who was a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats from 2007 until 2010, said he had texted the comedian only “a few weeks” prior to his death.
Susie Dent, who worked alongside Sean Lock on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, wrote on Twitter: “I wish I had the words to describe the exceptional man that was Sean Lock. But today I don’t, and I think he might have liked it that way.”
Comedian Ross Noble called Sean Lock “the best of the best”.
He wrote on Twitter: “With the passing of Sean Lock we have lost the best of the best. He made me laugh like few others do.
“A massive talent who made stand-up look effortless and approached his illness in the same no-nonsense way he approached life. A great loss.”
Jon Richardson, who has appeared in 8 Out of 10 Cats, said he “devastated” to lose his idol.
He wrote on Twitter: “I idolised Sean as a comic long before I became a comedian myself and ten years working alongside him didn’t diminish that in the least. An incredible comic brain and a truly unique voice.
“I’m devastated for his family today and sad for comedy that we have lost one of the very best.
“Undisputed, undefeated, carrot in a box champion. I will miss him.”
Rosie Jones, a comedian who has appeared with Sean Lock on 8 Out Of 10 Cats, has said he was was the “kindest man”.
She wrote on Twitter: “Sean was a comedic giant and one of the kindest men.
“His comic mind was incomparable and his rants were exquisite.
“He had time for everyone, and treated me exactly the same, from when I was a researcher to when I became an overly excitable teammate. I’ll miss you Sean.”
Channel 4 paid tribute to what they described as “one of our greatest comedians”, writing on Twitter: “Incredibly sad to learn of the loss of one of our greatest comedians, Sean Lock.”
“A much loved part of the C4 family he’s played a huge role on the channel for over two decades, and we’ll miss him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Born in Woking, Surrey, Lock left school in the early 1980s and started working on building sites.
He later developed skin cancer, which he blamed on overexposure to the sun, but made a full recovery, allowing him to focus on pursuing a career in comedy.
In 2000, he won the gong for the best live stand-up at the British Comedy Awards.
He went on to feature as a guest for a range of panel shows over the ensuing years, including Have I Got News for You and QI.
But ultimately Lock became best known as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats, the comedy series hosted by Jimmy Carr.
A favourite among many fans, he appeared on the first 18 series, opposite team captains including Jason Manford and Jon Richardson.He left the show in 2015 and was replaced by Rob Beckett at the beginning of series 19.