Scarlett Moffat leads tributes to ‘Grandfather of Gogglebox’ Leon Bernicoff after he dies aged 83

Co-stars Sandra Martin and Sandi Bogle also joined the likes of Sue Perkins and Liam Gallagher in posting condolences

C4, TL

Fans and familiar faces of Gogglebox have paid their respects to Leon Bernicoff, one the show’s original sofa stars, who died yesterday aged 83.

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Along with his wife June, the retired teacher appeared on the Channel 4 show from 2013, where he was quickly known for his down to earth humour, outspoken comments and mischievous antics.

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.”

Leon’s Gogglebox co-stars – including former cast members Scarlett Moffat, Sandra Martin and Sandi Bogle – posted tributes to the Liverpudlian.

Other Goggleboxers to post messages for Leon included Rev Kate Bottley…

Steph and Dom Parker…

The Tapper family…

Hairdresser Stephen Webb…

Jenny Newby and Lee Riley…

Dave and Shirley…

Sisters Ellie and Izzi Warner…

And Carolyne and the Michael family…

Show creator Tania Alexander also took to Twitter to hail “the grandfather of Gogglebox”.

Celebrities including Liam Gallagher, Julie Hesmondhalgh, David Schneider, Paddy McGuiness and Sue Perkins also posted their condolences.

Leon, who was a lifelong Everton supporter, also received a message from his football club…

A message from Leon and June’s Twitter account thanked all for their warm messages.

Leon met June at a dance in 1955 when he was 20 and she was 18. The couple married five years later and went on to have two daughters.

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A Christmas special of Gogglebox, featuring a tribute message to Leon, will air on C4 tonight, 9pm.