Sophie Ellis-Bextor shares heartbreaking news of her step-dad's 'cruel' death

Sophie Ellis Bextor
(Image credit: Redferns)

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has paid tribute to her late step-dad following his 'cruel' death from lung cancer.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has revealed that her beloved stepfather John Leach has died, in a moving tribute shared on social media.

Married to Sophie's mum, presenter and actress Janet Ellis, John had played an important role in the singer's life since she was little.

Announcing the tragic news on Instagram, Sophie posted a picture of her late stepdad, captioning it, 'This is my step-dad, John. He’s been a big part of my life since I was small. I can’t believe it’s true but he died last week. It wasn’t unexpected but it was cruel.

A photo posted by on

'Still, the love he and my mum created is all around our family and that stays on forever. Their marriage was truly inspirational - in fact, I wrote Young Blood about them,' Sophie continued.

'I feel so lucky to have been brought up around that and to have been raised by him, too. He was honestly the loveliest person. Kind, good, funny, smart, subtle, solid and clear...

'It’ll always be sad that he isn’t here but I’m thankful for all he’s done for us and for so, so many happy memories. Love is the most mighty thing of all and it outlives everything. Xxx'

Sophie's mum Janet married the TV producer in 1988, when Sophie was just nine-years-old. The couple went on to have two other children, Sophie's half-siblings Jackson and Martha.

Janet Ellis with John following the birth of their son Jack in 1987 (Credit: Getty)

John had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer, but Janet revealed on Lorraine that treatment had been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"My husband lives with cancer, so his treatment is suspended at the moment. He has a wonderful doctor who will get him the treatment when he can," the former Blue Peter presenter told Lorraine.

Sophie's friends and fans were quick to offer messages of support and condolence following the sad announcement.

Louise Redknapp led the tributes, commenting on the post, 'Thinking of you and so lovely to see you big kisses to you and all your family x'.

Fans offered similar messages of sympathy to the mum-of-five, with one writing, ‘Lovely words may he Rest in Peace x’.

‘Oh so sorry to hear your sad news’ wrote another.

Freelance Writer

Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. Her remit is broad, and she feels incredibly lucky to cover everything from women’s empowerment to sustainability (with a regular helping of celebrity news thrown in for good measure).