C4 confirmed the news yesterday evening in a joint statement with Gogglebox 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.”
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. 💔
Leon’s Gogglebox co-stars – including former cast members Scarlett Moffat, Sandra Martin and Sandi Bogle – posted tributes to the Liverpudlian.
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 .@LeonAndJune ❤️❤️
So terribly sorry to hear the dreadful news about Leon!! Our hearts are with June and his family – what a dreadful loss to us all – he was always so cheeky and adored – the show will never be the same without him #leonliveson Huge #Chinchin in his honour
God Bless you Leon 🙏🏻 RIP 😢We loved you from the very first & we are all utterly 💔 we will miss you greatly 😔 #gogglebox won’t be the same without your unique wit & insight 😊@LeonAndJune our love & prayers to all the Bernicoff family ❤️
Show creator Tania Alexander also 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
@LeonAndJune June, you will be inundated, I know. But I had to add my voice to the legion of Leon fans who loved his wit, sparkle, mischief and politics. We will all miss him. TY Leon. Sending ❤ & thoughts xxxx
Leon, who was a lifelong Everton supporter, also received a message from his football club…
Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Leon, the Evertonian who entertained the nation on @C4Gogglebox. Our thoughts are especially with his wife June at this terribly sad time. 💙 pic.twitter.com/eydpyZ4a1i