Ant and Dec lead tributes to Britain's Got Talent warm-up star Ian Royce, 51, following tragic death
2 September 2020, 07:38 | Updated: 2 September 2020, 08:25
Simon Cowell, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have lost a special Britain's Got Talent family member.
Ian Royce, best known for warming up the crowds on Britain's Got Talent, has died aged 51.
The tragic news was confirmed on Tuesday this week by his family, who revealed the comic had passed away from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure.
The announcement read: "It is with our greatest regret that we have to tell you all that Ian has passed away today from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure.
"He was in no pain and was surrounded by friends and family. He put up a good fight but is in a better place now. Roxanne x"
In 2019, Ian had revealed he was battling alcoholism, and was raising money to help fund his visit to rehab.
Britain's Got Talent hosts Ant and Dec are believed to have donated £2,500 to his fund, while Simon Cowell and Robbie Williams also made donations.
Thanking them for their help as he entered rehab last year, Ian tweeted: "I am so grateful to so many for saving my life….. Thank you so much everyone and my amazing girlfriend xx @SimonCowell @antanddec @robbiewilliams @ollyofficial thank you for a light….."
Ant and Dec have since paid tribute to Ian, writing on their Twitter page: "We are sorry to hear of the passing of Ian ‘Roycey’ Royce. (@officialroycey) He was an integral part of the #BGT team for many years.
"Our thoughts are with his beloved Roxy and all his family. RIP Roycey. We’ll never forget you."
Amanda Holden also reached out with a message, writing: "So sad to hear the sad news of @officialroycey who was our warm up man and friend on @bgt .. just an absolute tragedy. Mine and my family’s thoughts go out to Roxy his lovely daughter."