Leon, one of the stars of the TV show Gogglebox, has died at the age of 83, Channel 4 has said.
In a joint statement, Channel 4 and the production company Studio Lambert said that Leon had passed away in hospital on Saturday:
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 ten 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.
Our thoughts are with June, his two daughters, sons-in -law and beloved grandchildren – all of whom have asked for their privacy to be respected at this incredibly sad time.
Tania Alexander, the creator of the show, has also shared this on Twitter.
Contributors to the show, both past and present, have also shared tributes.
Leon and June, from Liverpool, have been married for more than 60 years. In an interview with the Liverpool Echo earlier this year, they were both asked what the their secret was to their long marriage. Leon responded: "She’s gorgeous.”