Gogglebox co-star Tom Malone Jr leads tributes for star Andy Michael after news of his passing

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Following the news earlier this morning that Gogglebox’s Andy Michael had passed away at 61, co-stars Tom Malone Jr, Sophie Sandford and Dave Griffiths have paid tribute to the late TV personality.

Michael had passed last weekend, with news that he had gone “with his family by his side” being announced by Channel 4 and Studio Lambert on behalf of his family earlier today.

Tom wrote of Andy: “Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Andy Michael. Sending love and support to the whole Michael family.”

While Sophie followed with a small: “rest in peace Andy” for the star.

Dave wrote: “Our thoughts are with the Michael family, such tragic news.”

In a joint statement, Channel 4 and Studio Lambert shared: “We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Gogglebox star Andy Michael at the age of 61 following a short illness.

“Andy passed away last weekend with his family by his side.

“Retired hotelier Andy, who brought much wit and insight to Gogglebox, was one of the show’s original cast members, appearing in the very first episode in 2013.

“Beloved father to Katy, Alex, Pascal and Louis, and cherished husband of Carolyne, Andy was a much-loved and respected member of the Gogglebox family, and he will be very sadly missed.

“Our love and thoughts are with Carolyne and the entire family. The family have asked for privacy at this very sad time.”

The Michael’s had previously been dropped from the production for a short while after it had been announced that Andy would be running as a candidate for UKIP, with Channel 4 saying at the time: "It's with great regret that the Michaels are no longer in the show.

"Sadly any Gogglebox cast member who becomes a candidate for a political party will have to step down from their involvement in Gogglebox.

"They have been excellent contributors to Gogglebox, and we are very grateful for all they have given to the show."

The family soon returned to UK screens after Andy stepped down from his political position, with Andy saying to The Sun at the time: "I have a responsibility to keep my family happy after they supported me last autumn. That was a big deal for us. They supported me then, so it's my time to support them now.

“I was happy to step down in order to pick up Gogglebox."

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