Comedian Sean Hughes, a team captain on BBC pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, died yesterday aged 51.
The Irish stand-up star, a panellist on the show for six years, had liver disease following ‘years of hedonism’.
Hughes was 24 when he became the youngest person to win the top prize in British comedy, the Perrier Award, at the 1990 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Yesterday fellow comedian David Baddiel called him ‘one of the best comics of our generation’ as others paid tribute to the star.
Sean Hughes, the comedian who became the youngest to ever win the Perrier Award back in 1990, has died aged 51
Comedian Sean Hughes has died at the age of 51, his management has confirmed, after he had liver disease following ‘years of hedonism’
Hughes, who was a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks on BBC Two (pictured with Phill Jupitus and host Mark Lemarr)
Irish stand up comedian Hughes (left at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2013) also appeared in Coronation Street. He is pictured on the show (right) with Sue Cleaver who played Eileen Grimshaw
The comedian told his 50,000 Twitter followers that he was ‘in hospital’ in his final social media post last week
In 2015 Hughes spoke about the ‘extreme hedonism’ which once saw him overdose on amphetamines. He revealed that the previous year he had quit drinking after his jacket caught fire at a party, but added that his friends were ‘uncomfortable’ when he was sober.
‘I quit drinking totally for a couple of years because I was having too many ‘proper’ drinks,’ he said. ‘I knew I was drinking too much when I had to be put out at a party. I don’t mean I was asked to leave. My jacket was on fire.
‘When I started drinking again, I thought my friends would be concerned, but they welcomed my return with a ‘great to have you back’ attitude. Apparently I’m tedious when sober. People were uncomfortable when I wasn’t drinking. It made them question their own habits.’
In another interview, he predicted: ‘I honestly don’t think I’m going to live very long. Many comedians don’t. It’s a very stressful existence.’ A representative for Hughes confirmed he died in Whittington Hospital, North London, after being taken there during the night.
His final tweet, posted on October 8, simply said: ‘In hospital.’ Paying tribute yesterday, comedian Sarah Millican said: ‘So sad to hear of Sean Hughes death. He was the first comic I ever saw live. A very funny man. Awful news.’
Jack Dee wrote: ‘Very sad to hear about Sean Hughes. Started on the circuit with him back in the day. RIP.’
Hughes was not one to shy away from controversy, sometimes finding himself in hot water for his jokes – including calling Pope Benedict a Nazi.
Hughes was born in London to Irish parents, a mother from Cork and a father from Dublin, and had two brothers, Alan and Martin. The family moved back to Dublin when he was six, and he recalled ‘getting stick’ for his Cockney twang.
From 1996 to 2002 he was a team captain on the BBC 2 comedy quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, alongside Phill Jupitus and Mark Lamarr (pictured with Michael Greco)
Hughes pictured with Never Mind the Buzzcocks presenter Mark Lamarr and the other team captain Phill Jupitus
Hughes, who has died today at the age of 51, once spoke about how an amphetamine overdose nearly took his life
Hughes never married and had no children, explaining in 2015: ‘I have lived on my own for most of my life and I am very happy.
‘I don’t think I am cut out to get married and have kids. I am quite selfish and like to do things my way.’
As well as starring on Buzzcocks with Phill Jupitus and Mark Lamarr, Hughes was also an actor, appearing in The Last Detective, Coronation Street, Agatha Christie’s Marple and Casualty, and produced two collections of prose and poetry.
- Roy Dotrice has died at the age of 94. Born in Guernsey, he developed a taste for acting while a PoW in the Second World War.
He played Leopold Mozart in the Oscar-winning 1984 film Amadeus, and had countless television roles to his credit, most recently appearing in Game Of Thrones in 2012. His daughter Michele played Betty in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.
Hughes (pictured at Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire in 2011) was reportedly suffering from cirrhosis of the liver
Hughes (pictured in 2007 at the Gardner Arts Centre in Brighton) was the youngest person to win the coveted Perrier Award – now known as the Edinburgh Comedy award – in 1990
Hughes has died aged 51 just a week after telling Twitter followers he was ‘in hospital’