English comedian Sean Lock—best known for appearing on the Channel 4 show 8 Out Of 10 Cats—has died after battling cancer. He was 58. His agent told The Guardian that he died at home, “surrounded by his family.”
Lock’s TV career began with Rob Newman and David Baddiel’s TV series Newman And Baddiel In Pieces in 1993; he also joined the comics on tour as a supporting act. He script-edited Bill Bailey’s series Is It Bill Bailey? in 1998 and got his own BBC Radio 4 show 15 Minutes Of Misery the same year, until 1999. The radio show was turned into a TV series called 15 Storeys High in 2002, that ran for two seasons.
But fans mostly recognize Lock as a team captain on famed panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, holding the title of team captain from season 1 until season 18. He also appeared on other hit panel shows like Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI, Would I Lie To You?, and Big Fat Quiz Of The Year. In addition, he hosted the Channel 4 show TV Heaven, Telly Hell, from 2006 until 2007, where comics and celebrities would discuss TV moments. Besides his TV work, Lock had an acclaimed career as a stand-up comedian. He won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Comic in 2000, and was nominated for a Perrier Comedy Award.
In a statement to The Guardian, the comedian’s longtime friend and collaborator Bill Bailey told the publication that Lock was “as brilliantly funny off the stage as on” and that their conversations would leave him “helpless with laughter.” He also says that in a writer’s room, Lock “spurred you on to find a better joke, a new line, the sweet spot of a perfect gag.” Bailey also tweeted a tribute to Lock, writing, “It’s heartbreaking to lose my dearest friend Sean Lock, he was a true original, a wonderful comic. All my thoughts are with his family.”
8 Out Of 10 Cats host Jimmy Carr also paid his respects to the late comic, tweeting, “Brutal news about Sean Lock today. I loved him. I’m watching clips of him right now-laughing & crying. I’ll miss him so much.”