RIP Gogglebox legend, Leon

Scarlett Moffatt is just one of thousands of fans to send a tribute to ‘grandfather of Gogglebox’ Leon Bernicoff after he died following a short illness.

The retired teacher – who joined the telly show with wife, June back in 2013 – sadly passed away on Saturday aged 83.

Channel 4 and Studio Lambert announced the heartbreaking news over the weekend in a statement which read: ‘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.

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‘Leon and his wife June were the first members of the public to be cast for Gogglebox back in early 2013, and they soon grew to become much-loved voices during the course of the show’s 10 series to date.

‘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.’

And tributes soon poured in for the Gogglebox legend, as former co-star, Scarlett tweeted: ‘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.’

Fellow Gogglebox stars Lee Riley and Jenny Newby also said: ‘Sending all our love to June and family at this sad time on the passing of our TV legend Leon R.I.P.’

While fans of the show also sent kind messages and shared their best memories of Leon.

Wife June later took to social media to show gratitude for all the support, as she told their followers: ‘Thank you folks for all your wonderful messages. Leon would have loved reading them and hearing how much he was loved.

‘Goodnight and God bless!’

Leon met June in 1955 and the couple married five years later and now share two children.

After four years’ making the whole nation howl with laughter on Gogglebox, Leon will be greatly missed. Sending all our love to his family at this sad time.