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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jessica Gibb & Susan Knox

Gareth Richards dies aged 41 after comedian pal of Frank Skinner in 'terrible' car crash

Gareth Richards has died at the age of 41.

The comedian's wife Laura shared a heartbreaking statement with fans this afternoon, with stars like Jason Manford leading the tributes on social media.

"It is with great sadness that I have to share that Gareth passed away on Friday 7th April (Good Friday) at 6:30pm," Laura wrote on Facebook.

"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.

"The boys are bearing up well."

Gareth, 41, is understood to have been involved in a serious road accident earlier this month (INSTAGRAM)

She added: "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."

The comedy world has been paying tribute to the late star following his wife's Facebook statement.

Comedian Gareth co-hosted Frank's show for two years (FACEBOOK)
Frank, 66, became overwhelmed with emotion as he shared the tragic news with listeners (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Jason Manford wrote on Twitter: "Myself and the whole team at @ManfordsComedy are devastated to hear the news that Gareth Richards passed away today.

"He was a wonderfully inventive & funny comedian but more importantly a kind & thoughtful man. Our thoughts are with his wife & children at this time. Jason."

Comedian Rhys James tweeted: "I was a fan of Gareth Richards before I met him and was so thrilled by how lovely and hilarious he was offstage as well as on.

"A giant of joke writing. A pleasure to know and an honour to die on my arse alongside at some real stinker network gigs back in the day. RIP."

Ted Lasso star Lloyd Griffith added: "This is heartbreaking. Gareth, you were the kindest man ever, and so so funny.

"I used to watch this over and over again when I first got into comedy. Rest in peace pal xx."

Comic Josh Pugh wrote: "Thoughts with @garethrichards family and friends such a kind and funny man."

Tributes are pouring in for the late radio star and comedian (Instagram/frankontheradio)

Gareth's former co-host Frank Skinner broke down in tears in a heartbreaking moment on his radio show earlier this month as he revealed Gareth was fighting for his life.

It comes after comedian Frank, 66, became overwhelmed with emotion as he shared the tragic news with listeners on his Absolute Radio show.

Speaking on the programme, which airs every Saturday morning, Frank said: "One thing you have to learn to do in this line of work is out on a false front and the show must go, that's what happened this morning."

Talking to his co-host Emily Dean, he continued: "We have been doing this show for 14 years and when we first did the pilot for it, me and Emily, it was rubbish, just the two of us. Couldn't do it.

"We got a guest on the next one who was Gareth Richards, who was brilliant on her and we asked him to do the show. And so for the first few years it was me, Em and Gareth.

"He became a very close friend and has supported me on tour. Gareth and Emily are very very close."

Frank Skinner became emotional as he revealed his co-host Gareth's condition (West Bromwich Albion FC via Gett)

Explaining Gareth's condition, Frank added: "Gareth was in a very big road accident this week and it is not looking great for Gareth. He is in hospital and he is fighting and it's not looking great. I didn't want to do this show without mentioning him."

Frank then appealed to listeners to keep Gareth in their prayers.

"He is a fantastic bloke. I don't know if any of you do pray but if you do, give one for Gareth this week," he said.

An emotional Emily added: "We love you, Gareth."

"We do," Frank agreed. "I am not going to pretend, it's bad but you know, there is always hope."

Comedian Gareth co-hosted Frank's show for two years and continued to make appearances on the radio show.

He also supported Frank on his 2014 and 2020 tours.

Meanwhile, Gareth has also appeared on Russell Howard's Good News, as well as BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4.

A still from one of Gareth's comedy videos on YouTube (Instagram)

In 2018, Gareth gushed over taking part in Frank's radio show as he posed for a photo at the radio station, with the logo seen behind the comedian in the snap.

As Gareth posted the photo to his Facebook page, he wrote: "Really enjoyed doing the Frank Skinner Radio Show this morning. You can download the podcast if you missed it. I’m on again next week too."

A week before Frank shared the sad news, Gareth shared a tweet which revealed he was due to appear at the Krater Comedy Club in Bath.

The tweet read: "Tomorrow night at at Krater Comedy Club, we’ll be joined by the hilarious @garethrichards, @tadiwamahlunge, @stephencgrant and MC @HStachini! There will also be a British Sign Language interpreter live on stage at this event!"

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