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23 December 2017, 20:41
The TV world has paid tribute to Gogglebox star Leon Bernicoff, who has passed away at the age of 83.
The retired teacher and his wife June were one of the first couples to appear on the Channel 4 reality TV series when it launched back in 2013.
Bernicoff died in hospital on Saturday, it was confirmed by Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert.
Channel 4 and Studio Lambert said: "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.
"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."
Bernicoff was born on October 27, 1934. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.
Several Gogglebox stars paid tribute to Leon online:
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.— C4 Gogglebox (@C4Gogglebox) December 23, 2017
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— Scarlett Moffatt (@ScarlettMoffatt) December 23, 2017
Leon said it as it is, whether he was rubbishing a celebrity,political party or whether he was describing how much his wife and family meant to him, it was always from the heart. All the love, thoughts and prayers to June and the Bernicoff family during this sad time #Leon x— baasit #gogglebox (@baasitsiddiqui) December 23, 2017