Gogglebox star Pete McGarry has died aged 71 after a short illness.

The TV favourite died at the weekend, according to Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert, with his family by his side.

McGarry, along with wife Linda and her son, George Gilbey, originally joined the Channel 4 programme for its second series in 2013.

They returned to the show for the seventh series three years later, after George appeared in Celebrity Big Brother, and have continued to appear as series regulars.

A statement issued on behalf of the family said: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce that Gogglebox star Pete McGarry passed away at the age of 71 this weekend with his family by his side after a short illness.’

The statement continued: ‘Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew.

‘Our thoughts are with Linda, their children and grandchildren.

‘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 added that McGarry’s death was not related to Covid-19.

McGarry and his wife had spoken of the children they’d fostered over the decades, saying it was something they ‘loved’ doing.

Lynne previously said, per The Sun: ‘It’s enhanced our lives so much. It’s very rewarding. I’ve just loved doing it.

‘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.’

More to come.

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