Tributes have been paid to Gogglebox star Andy Michael after it was announced he has died at the age of 61.

Michael was one of the original cast of the Channel 4 show, appearing in the debut episode in 2013 with his family in Brighton.

The Michael family took a hiatus from the show in 2014, when Michael ran for Ukip in the general election, but returned to show when he failed to win the Hastings and Rye seat.

A statement from Channel 4 and Studio Lambert confirmed Michael died last weekend after a short illness.

They said: “We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Gogglebox star Andy Michael at the age of 61 following a short illness.

“Andy passed away last weekend with his family by his side. Retired hotelier Andy, who brought much wit and insight to Gogglebox, was one of the show’s original cast members, appearing in the very first episode in 2013.

“Beloved father to Katy, Alex, Pascal and Louis, and cherished husband of Carolyne, Andy was a much-loved and respected member of the Gogglebox family, and he will be very sadly missed.

“Our love and thoughts are with Carolyne and the entire family. The family have asked for privacy at this very sad time.”

Tributes for the Gogglebox star have flooded in following the announcement of his death.

Former Gogglebox cast member Tom Malone Jr shared his condolences on Twitter, writing: “Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Andy Michael. Sending love and support to the whole Michael family.”

One person wrote: “What a shame, I didn’t agree with his politics but he was a very intelligent and entertaining on gogglebox. So sorry to the family thinking of you.”

Another said: “This is so sad! He was such a lovely bloke on the show - loved him and his family. Thoughts are with his family and friends right now.”

The news comes just four days after it was announced Gogglebox cast member Mary Cook had died at the age of 92.

Someone wrote: “What a grim week for Gogglebox. First Mary and now Andy. RIP.”

In June, Gogglebox favourite Pete McGarry died from bowel cancer at the age of 71. Many took the time to acknowledge all three cast members who have passed away recently.

They’ll all be missed.

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