Irish stand-up comedian and frequent BBC panel show guest Sean Hughes has passed away at the age of 51, according to The Guardian. He was reportedly suffering from liver cirrhosis at Whittington Hospital in North London when he died of cardiac arrest.
Hughes, who was a team captain on the popular U.K. music-based comedy quiz show “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” between 1996 and 2002, also briefly starred his own sitcom “Sean’s Show” on Channel 4. He died on Monday, his spokesman said. Hughes’ latest tweet, dated Oct. 8, said that he was in hospital.
Born in London but raised in Firhouse, Dublin, Hughes’ stand-up career took off in 1987. He went on to win the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award for his show “A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes” in 1990, becoming the youngest performer to win it. The show traveled around the world, with Hughes playing to crowds in London and throughout the U.K., Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto and Australia.
In a statement, his former promoter Richard Bucknall hailed Hughes as a “groundbreaking comedian”.
“He was a pioneering, groundbreaking comedian who changed comedy with that live show,” Bucknall told the popular comedy site BeyondTheJoke.
In the wake of his passing, tributes poured in from Hughes’ fellow comedians:
In 2015, Hughes sat down for an extensive chat with Richard Herring. Check out the interview below.