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‘Devastated’ Gogglebox star Linda McGarry pays tribute to co-star son George Gilbey

Gogglebox star Linda McGarry has paid tribute to her co-star son, George Gilbey, who has died aged 40.

McGarry, who appeared on the Channel 4 entertainment show with Gilbey, as well as her late husband Pete, said she was “devastated” after a workplace incident saw Gilbey fell from a height on 27 March.

“I’m devastated – he was like my best friend,” McGarry said, adding: “He had the best heart in the world. He was generous, funny and kind, with bundles of charm and buckets of personality.

“He did more in his 40 years than people do in 90 – he’s even had dinner with the Prince of Dubai.”

McGarry said Gilbey, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, had been trying to “rebuild his life after “coming out of showbiz” following the death of his stepdad from bowel cancer in 2021.

“He just couldn’t get over the death of Pete,” McGarry told The Mirror, adding that Gilbey also recently struggled with the news his mother had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“George took it worse than me,” she said, adding: “He came to celebrity over night but didn’t really want to be – he was just normal. But it allowed him to do charity work and anytime anyone contacted him about charity work, he prioritised it.”

Essex Police said of the accident that led to Gilbey’s death: “Sadly, the man died at the scene. We will continue liaising with partners including the Health and Safety Executive. A cordon remains in place at the scene.”

The ambulance service and air ambulance attended but, despite efforts to save him, Gilbey died at the scene.

McGarry said of her son, who had a seven-year=old daughter with his ex-partner: “George was a real contradiction – he was so funny and so intelligent. A lot of people don’t know how intelligent George was.

‘Gogglebox’ star Linda has lost both her son George and husband Pete (Channel 4)
‘Gogglebox’ star Linda has lost both her son George and husband Pete (Channel 4)

“He was smart, which allowed him to be quick-witted and he was loud and outgoing, but at the same time very sensitive. He helped others, but he struggled himself.”