John McCririck cause of death: How did the racing pundit and Celebrity Big Brother star die?

8 July 2019, 17:25 | Updated: 8 July 2019, 17:31

John McCririck has died aged 79
John McCririck has died aged 79. Picture: PA Images/Shutterstock

John McCririck has died at the age of 79.

Former Channel 4 racing pundit John McCririck has died aged 79, according to reports.

The news was reported on Racing Post who shared a Tweet reading: "Sad to report that legendary racing broadcaster John McCririck has died at the age of 79."

John - who also starred on Celebrity Big Brother back in 2005 - is believed to have passed away on July 5th 2019.

But how did John McCririck die? This is what we know so far:

What did John McCririck die of?

John's family confirmed the news he had passed away on July 5th, with his wife of 48 years since confirming he was battling lung cancer.

Jenny revealed that doctors discovered a cancerous tumour in January 2018, and the reality star was too weak to fight it.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: "The cancer was small and you would normally have an op to remove it, but because he was so ill he couldn’t do it. They said they would have killed him if they had done an operation.

"The cancer spread and whenever he had and immunotherapy it left him weaker and weaker and then you get an infection. That’s how he died. But we had the best doctors. They did all they could."

Was John McCririck unwell?

John has previously opened up about suffering with chest problems and also lost three-stone due to a severe bout of flu.

Appearing in a final interview last October, the pundit blamed his illness on the stress of being dropped from Channel 4 Racing after 28 years.

He said: “Life is empty. I don't expect to be alive this time next year. It's a question of slipping away.

"I've prepared the Booby [his wife, Jenny] for it. When I'm gone she knows exactly what to do and she'll be fine.

"Racing was my life but now when I go I think: 'What am I doing here?' I feel like a dinosaur. You're a lost soul wandering around an environment you're no longer part of."

The star also stunned fans with his 'gaunt' appearance when he starred as a panelist on Big Brother's Bit on the Side last year after losing a lot of weight.

Admitting he’d suffered badly with the flu, John said it affected his voice and legs.

He explained: “'I had terrible flu and it really got to my legs and voice ‑ it was awful...

“It’s hard to recover from and I’m not fully fit. But I’m Cheltenham-bound and we’re booked in for all four days.”

John also appeared on This Morning, where he told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield he would "never fully recover".

"I’m not well. When you’re 78 you’re never going to fully recover. I don’t expect to," he said.

"I say to everybody, set yourself a target."If you’re not well, you're ill, set yourself a target that you will reach in 3-6 months time."

Why was he dropped from Channel 4?

The pundit spent 28 years hosting Channel 4 racing, but he was let go in 2012.

John then tried to take the channel to an employment tribunal for age discrimination, later admitting the stress of not having a job had left his life meaningless.