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Sean Lock: Comedian and 8 Out Of 10 Cats panellist dies aged 58

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Comedian Sean Lock, best known for panel shows 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, has died aged 58, his agent told the PA news agency.

Lock, also known for the sitcom 15 Storeys High, died from cancer.

A statement from his agent Off The Kerb Productions said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sean Lock.

“He died at home from cancer, surrounded by his family.”

The statement added: “Sean was one of Britain’s finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.

“Sean was also a cherished husband and father to three children.

“Sean will be sorely missed by all that knew him.”

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The world of comedy has paid tribute to Lock, including his friend comedian Lee Mack, who said: “I’ve known this day was coming for some time, but it’s no less heartbreaking.

Sean Lock performing in 2006
Image: Sean Lock performing at the annual Teenage Cancer Trust’s benefit week in 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall

“A true original both in comedy and life. I will miss him so much.”

John Bishop described Lock as a “great person” and Bill Bailey said he was a “wonderful” comic.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose my dearest friend Sean Lock, he was a true original, a wonderful comic. All my thoughts are with his family,” Bailey tweeted.

The TV star, who was known for his surreal content and deadpan style, has been a team captain on Jimmy Carr’s comedy panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats and the spin-off 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown since 2005.

In 2010, Lock appeared alongside Katherine Jenkins on the Graham Norton Show
Image: In 2010, Lock appeared alongside Katherine Jenkins on the Graham Norton Show

He was one of the team captains for the first 18 years, alongside host Jimmy Carr, Jason Manford and Jon Richardson.

Lock exited the show in 2015 and was replaced by Rob Beckett.

He was born in Woking, Surrey and began working on building sites in the early 1980s but developed skin cancer which he blamed on over-exposure to the sun.

He made a full recovery and focused on a career in comedy.

Lock was known for his appearances on popular panel shows, including 8 Out Of 10 Cats
Image: Lock was known for his appearances on popular panel shows, including 8 Out Of 10 Cats

His early professional TV appearance was in 1993, starring alongside Rob Newman and David Baddiel on Newman And Baddiel In Pieces.

In 1998, he script-edited Is It Bill Bailey? on BBC Two and had his own show called 15 Minutes of Misery on BBC Radio 4, which later expanded into 15 Storeys High.

The show was set in a tower block and centred on a pessimistic character called Vince (played by Lock) and his flatmate Errol, played by Benedict Wong.

Lock also appeared on panel shows including Have I Got News for You, QI, and They Think It’s All Over.

Lock performing during Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall
Image: Lock performing during Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall

In 2000 he won best live stand-up at the British Comedy Awards.

In 2006, Lock presented and produced TV Heaven, Telly Hell on Channel 4, where guests discussed their likes and dislikes about TV.

At the time, Lock spoke to the PA news agency and he said: “I think one of my all-time favourite shows is Catchphrase with Roy Walker. I loved it.

“I used to like Roy’s restraint, because, for a comedian, the opportunity to take the mick out of some of the ridiculous answers could have been too hard to resist.”

Guest appearances included Alan Davies, Johnny Vaughan, David Mitchell, Bailey, Johnny Vegas and Nick Hancock.

Fellow comedians, Richard Osman, Eddie Izzard and Davies paid tribute to Lock on Twitter.

Osman described Lock as a “unique and brilliant comic voice”, Izzard said he “brought a wonderful comedic talent to the world” and Davies, who met Lock at the start of their careers in 1988, said he was “funny on stage, hilarious off”.

He was married to Anoushka Nara Giltsoff and had three children with the comedian.