Ant and Dec have paid tribute to Britain’s Got Talent warm-up star Ian Royce, describing the comedian as an “integral part” of the team.
Royce died on Tuesday from “severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure,” according to a statement on his official Twitter account.
It said: “It is with our greatest regret that we have to tell you all that Ian has passed away today from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure.
“He was in no pain and was surrounded by friends and family. He put up a good fight but is in a better place now.”
Britain’s Got Talent hosts Ant and Dec shared a tribute on social media.
“We are sorry to hear of the passing of Ian ‘Roycey’ Royce,” the presenting duo said.
“He was an integral part of the #BGT team for many years. Our thoughts are with his beloved Roxy and all his family. RIP Roycey. We’ll never forget you. X.”
Royce had previously revealed he was an alcoholic and shared an appeal online to raise funds for rehab.
The post has since been flooded with messages of support and condolence.
Ian, who kept audiences entertained with his famous humour, checked into rehab late last year for sex addiction.
He received treatment at The Priory, the bill partly footed by his showbiz pals including Ant & Dec, Simon Cowell, Olly Murs and Robbie Williams.
In a lengthy post, he confirmed his condition and told fans he was getting the help he needed.
In September last year, he tagged stars including Ant and Dec, Simon Cowell and Robbie Williams, saying: “I am so grateful to so many for saving my life…..”
He added: “Thank you for a light…..”