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Gogglebox tragedy with three cast member deaths before new series


Gogglebox makes a welcome return to our TV screens on Friday night, with a star-studded special as part of Channel 4’s Black to Front day.

Before the regular series begins its 18th season later this year, the award-winning series will air a celebrity version as part of the channel’s day of celebrating Black talent.

The regular show, featuring viewer favourites such as the Malones and pals Jenny and Lee, will return later this month.

While fans of the show are eager to be reunited with their favourite armchair critics, the latest series of the reality show will be tinged with sadness.



Fan favourite’s Pete and Sophie Sandiford will be returning to the hit show later this month
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Although popular faces like the Warner sisters and hairdresser Stephen Webb are all confirmed to return, three much-loved figures will be absent from our screens following a trio of tragic deaths this summer.

Gogglebox favourites Pete McGarry, Mary Cook and Andy Michael all sadly passed away within months of each other between June and August this year.

With the new series just weeks away, we take a look at the three Gogglebox stars that will be sorely missed by fans and co-stars and look back over their time on the show.

Pete McGarry



Gogglebox’s Pete and Lynne McGarry with son George Gilbey
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On Monday 28 June, Channel 4 broke the heartbreaking news that Gogglebox star Pete McGarry had died.

The channel revealed that the 71-year-old had passed away following a short battle with bowel cancer and said the star would be “dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew.”

Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness was one famous face to pay tribute to the TV star, saying his death was “such a shame” and that the Clacton native was “one of the OGs” of the hit show.



Many paid tribute to the late Gogglebox star following his passing
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Getty Images Europe)




Pete first joined the Gogglebox family for its second series back in 2013, appearing on screen alongside his wife Linda and her son George Gilbey.

The husband and wife duo then returned to the Channel 4 show for the seventh series in 2016 and became fan favourites until their exit in 2020.

Pete was not only popular with viewers but his co-stars too.

Hairdresser Stephen, who has appeared on Gogglebox since the first ever series, paid tribute to his “total sweetheart” of a co-star following his sad passing.



Gogglebox star Stephen paid tribute to his late co-star earlier this month




“Pete was a total sweetheart and brought a real cockney charm to Gogglebox,” he recalled to OK! magazine earlier this month.

“He didn’t always say a lot, but we loved him chiming in with, “Leave off, Linda!” every so often.”

Following his passing, wife Linda confirmed that her husband had been diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier this year and had an operation to remove the tumour.

He was told he had six months to live, but sadly died just days later in his home in Essex.

Mary Cook



Mary Cook alongside pal and co-star Marina Wingrove
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Mary Cook was the second Gogglebox star we lost this summer.

Known for her appearances with friend Marina Wingrove, the 92-year-old sadly passed away towards the end of August.

The cheeky pair from Bristol were a big hit with fans of the TV reviewing show and Mary’s death hit the Gogglebox family hard.

Speaking in a statement issued on August 23, Channel 4 said they were “extremely saddened” to share the news of Mary’s death.

“Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend to many, Mary, who worked in the hospitality trade, had been married and widowed twice,” the tribute read.



Gogglebox fans loved the pair’s cheeky banter
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Channel 4)




The statement added that Mary and pal Marina had “became instant fan favourites due to their brilliantly witty and often cheeky moments”.

The late star spoke of her ‘cheeky moments’ in an interview posted on the website of her retirement home in 2017.

“We’re just talking to each other and having a laugh, aren’t we?” Mary said, a year after her Gogglebox debut.

“We do say some cheeky things, but they don’t always put them on the show.”









Co-star Stephen had some sweet words to say regarding his one-time Gogglebox colleague following her passing.

“Mary was a sweet, lovely lady, but with some brilliant innuendo and one-liners up her sleeve,” he told OK! magazine in September.

“We loved watching her and Marina together, their popularity shows that whatever age you are, you can still connect with younger people through humour.”

Andy Michael



Andy Michael’s death was announced via a statement from Channel 4




Shortly after Mary’s death, the Googlebox family was hit by tragedy once again when Andy Michael sadly passed away.

The 61-year-old’s death was announced on 27 August – with fans and co-stars rushing to pay tribute to the retired hotelier.

“We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Gogglebox star Andy Michael at the age of 61 following a short illness,” the official Twitter account for Gogglebox wrote at the time.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Andy will be truly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew.”

Andy was one of the original stars of the Channel 4 show when it launched back in 2013, appearing alongside his wife and children on the hit series.



The Michael family were a big hit with Gogglebox viewers




Sophie Sandiford, who appears on the Channel 4 show with brother Pete Sandiford, was one of the first Gogglebox stars to pay tribute to her late co-star.

Quote-tweeting the original statement from the Googlebox Twitter account, the 24-year-old wrote “Rest in peace Andy” and added a sad-face emoji to her words.

After first appearing on screen back in 2013, Andy quickly became a fan favourite thanks to his quick wit and unique insights.

However, after just two years on the telly-watching series, the Michael family disappeared from the cast of Gogglebox.

The late star quit the Channel 4 show so he could follow his dream of becoming politician – running as UKIP candidate in 2015.

However, the dad-of-four failed to win a seat in Hastings and Rye and he and his family returned to their sofa to star on the award-winning production.

“Andy was always truly himself and we really admire how straight talking he was. You could always tell there was so much love and mutual respect within the Michael family,” co-star Stephen spoke of the dad-of-four shortly after his death.




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