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Gogglebox star Pete McGarry has sadly passed away at the age of 71 following a 'short illness', it has been confirmed.
According to Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert, McGarry died at the weekend with his family by his side.
A statement issued on behalf of McGarry's 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."
It 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 his death was not Covid-related.
McGarry originally joined the programme for its second season in 2013, alongside wife Linda and her son, George Gilbey.
The family then returned to the show in 2016 for its seventh series, and continued to appear as regulars ever since.
Tributes have flooded in from fans of the show, including a tweet from one viewer who said: "So sad to hear of Pete McGarry from Gogglebox passing away! One of the OG families and icons. Will always remember that time his son kicked his shoe into Pete's chippy."
Another said: "Very sad to hear that Pete McGarry from #Gogglebox has died aged 71 after a short illness. Sending my warmest thoughts to his family at this tragic time."
TV personality Paddy McGuinness added: "Such a shame, one of the OGs. RIP."
Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew. pic.twitter.com/1xd0DgwREO
- C4 Gogglebox (@C4Gogglebox) June 28, 2021
In their private life, McGarry and his wife opened their doors to dozens of foster kids - an experience that they said was 'very rewarding'.
Speaking to The Daily Star back in 2016, Linda said: "We've now fostered 68 children and 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."
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