Irish comedian, actor and writer Sean Hughes dies aged 51

| Updated: October 24, 2017 09:31:02

Photo collected from the internet Photo collected from the internet

Irish stand-up star and BBC quiz show panellist Sean Hughes has died aged 51.

Richard Bucknall, his former agent and promoter, said the "formidable" comic died in hospital on Monday and would be remembered for his "superb wit".

Hughes was a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks on BBC Two and had his own Channel 4 sitcom, Sean's Show.

Fellow comedians, including Al Murray, Katy Brand and Jason Manford, have been paying tribute to the performer, who was also a writer and actor.

In 1990, Hughes - then 24 - became the youngest person to win the coveted Perrier Award - now known as the Edinburgh Comedy Award - at the Edinburgh Festival.

"I was told that I had won the Perrier award as I walked off stage after another sweaty performance," Hughes later wrote in The Guardian. "The judging panel rushed on to the stage to congratulate me.

"'Will it go to his head?'. I doubt it. If the panel had made it 10 minutes earlier, they would have seen two people walking out of my award-winning show."

Nica Burns, director of the awards, remembered him as "a huge talent" and "a very good writer" who had "instinctive timing from day one".

Hughes had a varied career, including a role in the hit film The Commitments, in which he played Dave, a talent scout for Eejit Records.

The London-born Irish star also played station master Mr Perks in the award-winning London play, The Railway Children.

To many, though, he will be best known for the six years he spent on Never Mind the Buzzcocks matching wits with Phill Jupitus and Mark Lamarr.

Kate Phillips, the BBC's controller of entertainment commissioning, said his "unique wit, dry delivery and ability to engage" had helped make it "one of the most memorable panel shows of all time."

On TV, he also starred in ITV series The Last Detective, where he played Mod Lewis, friend to Peter Davison's title character, DC "Dangerous" Davies.

As well as his role as Pat on Coronation Street, he also appeared in BBC One's Casualty in 2015.

Hughes last tweeted on 8 October to say he was in hospital. He is survived by two brothers, Alan and Martin.

A cause of death has not been confirmed.

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