Gogglebox star Pete McGarry has died aged 71, Channel 4 has confirmed.
A statement was shared on the Gogglebox social media platforms, sharing news of Pete’s passing with fans, explaining that the TV favourite died over the weekend with his family by his side.
Pete, his wife Linda, and their son George Gilbey first appeared on the Channel 4 show during its second season in 2013.
The family from Essex returned to the show in 2016 for the seventh season and have since become series regulars.
The touching statement went on to say, ‘Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew. Our thoughts are with Linda, their children and grandchildren.’
The message also shared an insight into Pete and Linda’s work as foster parents, spanning over two decades.
‘Since 2000, Pete and Linda have fostered over 100 children and he is a beloved father, husband and grandfather. The family have asked for privacy at this sad time.”
The statement went on to say that Pete’s death was not linked to Covid-19.
The sad announcement was met with hundreds of responses from devastated Gogglebox fans.
‘Ohhh no! So sorry to hear this. God bless him and much love to his family,’ one wrote.
‘Aww so sorry to hear this. Such sad news. Sending love to all the family at this incredibly painful time. Absolutely love these two,’ another penned.
‘I was watching re-runs just yesterday with them on the show. Sending love to Linda their family and friends, he’ll be missed by us gogglebox following,’ a third agreed.
Pete’s wife, Linda, previously opened up about their fostering work in a touching chat, saying they treated everyone who came to their Clacton-on-Sea home as if they were “their own”.
In an interview with the Daily Star she said, “I always say all you need to be a foster parent is a spare room, a sense of humour and a good heart.
“I’ve just brought them up as my own. On Mother’s Day I get so many phone calls. They don’t forget you. A lot still regard me and Pete as their parents.”
Linda described the experience as “very rewarding” and that she and Pete had a great time doing it.