Sean Lock: 8 Out of 10 Cats comedian dies aged 58 after cancer battle

Fellow comedians have paid tribute to the star, saying comedy has lost ‘one of the very best’

Comedian Sean Lock has sadly died at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer.

The popular TV star, famed for his deadpan comedic style, was well-known for his stint as team captain on Jimmy Carr’s Channel 4 comedy panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, and the spin-off series 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below

Lock also wrote and starred in the popular BBC sitcom 15 Storeys High.

Tributes paid to the ‘cherished’ star

The star’s death was confirmed in a statement from his agent, Off The Kerb Productions, which said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sean Lock.

“He died at home from cancer, surrounded by his family.

“Sean was one of Britain’s finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.

“Sean was also a cherished husband and father to three children. Sean will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

“We kindly request that the privacy of his family and children is respected at this difficult time.”

Fellow comedians have shared their condolences to the star following the news of his death.

Lee Mack, who was a close friend of Lock’s, said: “I’ve known this day was coming for some time, but it’s no less heart-breaking.

“A true original both in comedy and life. I will miss him so much.”

Pointless host Richard Osman, who worked with Sean Lock as a producer on panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, wrote on Twitter: “Over 15 years producing ‘8 Out Of 10 Cats’ Sean Lock made me laugh so much and so often.

“A unique and brilliant comic voice. Love to his family and his many friends.”

Comedian Jason Manford paid tribute on Twitter, saying he had texted the comedian “a few weeks” prior to his death on Wednesday (18 August).

He wrote: “I’m absolutely gutted about this. So heartbroken for his wife and children.

“One of the funniest men I’ve ever worked with and I used to adore occasionally making him laugh on my first proper telly job, 8 Out of 10 Cats.

“I texted him couple of weeks ago and I’m now so glad I did.

“If you’ve a friend who you’ve not spoken to for a while, drop them a message and check in. It could be the last time.”

Fellow panelist on 8 out of 10 Cats Jon Richardson, who appeared on the show alongside Lock, also paid tribute saying comedy had “lost one of the very best”.

He tweeted: “I idolised Sean as a comic long before I became a comedian myself and ten years working alongside him didn’t diminish that in the least. An incredible comic brain and a truly unique voice.

“I’m devastated for his family today and sad for comedy that we have lost one of the very best. Undisputed, undefeated, carrot in a box champion. I will miss him.”

Lock was best known for panel shows 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Photo: PA)Lock was best known for panel shows 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Photo: PA)
Lock was best known for panel shows 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Photo: PA)

An impressive comedic career

Lock was born in Working, Surrey, and began working on building sites after leaving school in the early 1980s.

He later developed skin cancer, which he blamed on over-exposure to the sun, but made a full recovery and turned his attention to pursuing a career in comedy.

He made one of his first professional TV appearances in 1993 on the show Newman And Baddiel In Pieces, starring alongside Rob Newman and David Baddiel.

Lock went on to script-edit the 1998 BBC Two series, Is It Bill Bailey? and landed his own show on BBC Radio 4 called 15 Minutes Of Misery, which was later expanded into TV series 15 Storeys High.

The show was set in a tower block and centred on a pessimistic character called Vince, played by Lock, and his flatmate Errol, played by Benedict Wong.

In 2000 he won the gong for the best live stand-up at the British Comedy Awards and five years later he became a regular team captain on the panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, which was a role he held for 18 series.

Between 2006 and 2007 he hosted Channel 4 series, TV Heaven, Telly Hell, which saw celebrities invited to share their own selection of TV’s triumphs and tragedies.

Famous faces on the show included Alan Davies, Johnny Vaughan, David Mitchell, Bill Bailey, Johnny Vegas and Nick Hancock.

Lock also appeared on panel shows including Have I Got News for You, QI, and They Think It’s All Over.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.