Gogglebox favourite Leon Bernicoff has died at the age of 83.
He passed away in hospital following a short illness.
Studio Lambert, the production company that makes the Channel 4 show have paid tribute in a statement.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad news that after a short illness Gogglebox’s Leon Bernicoff passed away in hospital earlier today.
“Leon and his wife June were the first members of the public to be cast for Gogglebox back in early 2013, and they soon grew to become much-loved voices during the course of the show’s 10 series to date.
“Leon’s unique personality and sharp wit endeared him to fans of the show, as he contributed fully to Gogglebox’s reputation as a programme full of warm humour and unvarnished opinion.
“To those of us that knew him personally, Leon was a man of unwavering principles who exerted a distinct paternal presence both on and off screen. He will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family; cast and crew.”
Leon, a retired teacher, and wife June joined the Channel 4 hit when it launched in 2013, and quickly became national treasures.
He was renowned for his no-nonsense opinion on celebrities and, most entertainingly, politicians – traits respected by many fans who are now flooding Twitter with their condolences.
The Bernicoffs, who were based in Liverpool, were married for over 60 years.
Leon was 20 when he first met June, then 18, at a teacher training college dance; he has said it was love at first sight.