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Frank Skinner chokes up live on air as he says co-star Gareth Richards 'didn't make it

Frank Skinner paid an emotional tribute to his "gentle and funny" late co-star Gareth Richards in a special podcast episode of his show on Absolute Radio.

The comedian, 66, was audibly devastated as he spoke of his friend Gareth, 41, who died following a serious car crash.

Comedian Gareth sustained serious brain injuries following a "terrible car accident" and died on Friday after spending almost two weeks in hospital.

Speaking to listeners on Easter Sunday, he said: "Hello, this is Frank Skinner. Last week some of you will know that I ended the show by telling you that our former colleague and dear friend Gareth Richards had been in a serious road accident and was fighting for his life.

Gareth Richards died on Good Friday (INSTAGRAM)

"Erm, and there's been lots of beautiful messages about Gareth and his family have been very kind of us in that they've informed us about the details of his struggle but look...

"Um, Gareth didn't make it, Gareth didn't make it and we will miss him intensely. He was a very kind, gentle, funny, fascinating man and I can't believe that he -"

Pausing, Frank took a shaky breath before continuing: "Anyway, today's show features Gareth's best bits and you're allowed to cry but you have to laugh as well, I think he would have insisted."

Gareth's heartbroken wife Laura confirmed his death in a statement shared on Facebook.

Gareth worked on Absolute Radio (FACEBOOK)
Former co-star Frank Skinner paid an emotional tribute (frankontheradio/Instagram)

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

"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 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."

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 Gareth following his wife's Facebook statement.

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."

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