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Tuesday 10th December 2019

Big Brother star Josie Gibson pays heartfelt tribute to "loving and caring" John McCririck

She called him one of life's "beautiful eccentric characters"

Josie Gibson has shared an emotional tribute to late broadcaster John McCririck following his death earlier today (July 5).

The Big Brother star, 34, posted a snap of the two of them on a panel show with TOWIE star Bobby Norris and called John her "hero".

Read more: John McCririck tells fans he is dying

She wrote alongside the photo: "So sad to hear about the passing of kind, caring and very funny John McCririck.

"We used to laugh about his pantomime character he played and lived up to as he was really nothing like that.

"He was a gentle loving and caring soul. He looked out for me when I left the Big Brother house.

Josie called John a "loving and caring soul" (Credit: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)

"He would always ask and kept up to date with what I was up to and he was one of life's amazing beautiful eccentric characters.

"Lots of love to the Booby and to you John. Hope your making them all laugh up there."

John, who was known for his colourful outfits and outrageous personality, made a name for himself as a successful horse racing pundit before finding new fame on shows like Celebrity Big Brother and I'm A Celebrity.

A statement issued by his agent read: "Award winning journalist, broadcaster and for many years the face of British horse racing, John McCririck, passed away at a London hospital on Friday 5th July aged 79.

He was a gentle loving and caring soul.

"Despite suffering ill health in recent months, John continued to make several TV and radio appearances.

"He is survived by Jenny, his wife of 48 years. His funeral will be private."

It appears John foreshadowed his demise in a sad interview in October last year, during which he said of his failing health: "I don't expect to be alive this time next year."

John revealed in October that he didn't think he would live for another year (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Read more: Big Brother's Josie Gibson supported 'suicidal' Malin Andersson following death of her baby

Looking gaunt, John revealed he had lost three stone as he battled chest problems and severe flu.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the 79-year-old said: "Life is empty. I don't expect to be alive this time next year. It's a question of slipping away."

He had even warned his wife Jenny, who he affectionately called Booby, that he might not be around for much longer.

"I've prepared the Booby for it," he told the paper, adding: "When I'm gone she knows exactly what to do and she'll be fine."

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