Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Isobel Lewis

Gareth Richards death: Comedian dies aged 41 after ‘terrible’ car accident


Comedian Gareth Richards, best known for his work with Frank Skinner, has died aged 41.

The comic, who co-hosted Skinner’s Absolute Radio show for two years from 2009 to 2011 – and continued to regularly appear on the show – was involved in a serious car collision near Heathrow airport on the M25 on Monday (27 March).

On Saturday (8 April), Richards’ wife Laura announced in a statement shared on Facebook that Gareth died on Friday (7 April).

“It is with great sadness that I have to share that Gareth Richards passed away on Friday 7th April (Good Friday) at 6.30pm,” she wrote. “He was in a terrible car accident on Monday 27th March at 11.30pm and sustained serious brain injuries. It was a miracle that he arrived at the hospital alive.

“Since then, the doctors and nurses have been incredible and have kept him in a stable and sedated condition. However, the latest scan revealed that the extent of the damage was so severe that they would have to remove all of the supportive medications and allow him to be at peace.”

Laura continued: “The boys are bearing up well. There will be details of the funeral and other ways to remember Gareth to follow, as I know that he was well loved. At the moment the grief is a lot to cope with. Thank you all for your support and kindness.”

First performing in 2004, Richards quickly became a staple of the comedy circuit. In 2007, he was both a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition and a runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off.

He performed his first solo show Stand Up Between Songs at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010, where he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

On TV, Richards appeared on shows such as Russell Howard’s Good News, Live at the Electric and The Dog Ate My Homework. He recorded stand-up sets for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4.

Last Saturday (1 April), Skinner became choked up as he told telling his Absolute Radio listeners that Richards had been in a “very big road accident”.

“One thing you have to learn to do in this line of work is to put on a false front and the show must go on, and that’s what happened this morning,” he said.

“Gareth was in a very big road accident this week and it’s not looking great for Gareth. He is in hospital and he’s fighting but it’s not looking great.”

Skinner added that Richards was “a fantastic bloke”, adding: “I didn’t want to do this show without mentioning him. Many of you would have seen him [perform] live. Some of you will remember on the show, if you’ve been with us that long.”

Richards and Skinner presented on Absolute Radio alongside Emily Dean when Skinner’s show first began. They became close friends, with Richards supporting Skinner on tour in 2014 and 2020.

At the time of the accident, local news reported that the motorway was shut for 10 hours following a collision between a lorry and two other cars between Junctions 14 and 15 on the M25.

Surrey Live reported that a man was cut free from his vehicle and was taken to a major trauma centre. The Metropolitan police said the following day that the driver of the car’s injuries “have been assessed as life-threatening”.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.