The hugely popular warm-up comic for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, Ian Royce, has died, aged 51, after suffering pneumonia and multiple organ failure.
His daughter, Roxanne, tweeted on Tuesday: “It is with our greatest regret that we have to tell you all that Ian has passed away today from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure. He was in no pain and was surrounded by friends and family. He put up a good fight but is in a better place now. Roxanne x”
Britain’s Got Talent hosts Ant and Dec were quick to post their tribute to Ian, saying “he was a legendary character and will not be forgotten”.
TV presenter Ben Shephard wrote: “I had too many wonderful hilarious times with him, he was one of the best at what he did.”
Piers Morgan called him the “funniest warm-up man in showbiz and a legend in the TV industry”.
Other TV personalities who took to social media to celebrate the man who was a friend to so many included Davina McCall, Gethin Jones, Laura Whitmore, Amanda Holden, Myleene Klass and Nicky Chapman, who wrote: “Roycey was a one in a million. We met on Pop Idol & he entertained us all, as well as the audience.”
Comedian Ian had a remarkable CV and was the warm-up man on The Michael McIntyre Show, Britain’s Got Talent, Loose Women, Piers Morgan Life Stories, Sport Relief, Alan Carr’s Chatty Man and The X Factor among other shows.
According to Hello, unrelated to his death, Ian had been struggling with depression this year after he lost his voice and had been unable to work.
He tweeted in February: “Last year I lost my voice, thus my everything. My living, my personality, my being. But fight I will to get it back. In fact all of my darkness I want to walk away from.”