Britain’s Got Talent star, Ian Royce, dies at 51


Ian Royce passed away on Tuesday from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure months after treatment for alcoholism.

The compère, who entered rehab in October for treatment for alcoholism and sex addiction, ‘was in no pain’ as he tragically passed away, according to a statement released by the entertainer’s daughter Roxanne on his official Twitter account.

Following the revelation, a host of stars Royce had worked with – including Anthony McPartlin, Declan Donnelly, and Myleene Klass – shared their condolences.

The statement read: “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.” 

Simon Cowell’s company Syco released a statement to MailOnline, which read: “Our thoughts and love are with Roycey’s family at this extremely difficult time.” 

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Ant and Dec said: “So sorry to hear this news… he was a legendary character and will not be forgotten.”

They further paid tribute in a follow-up statement, in which they said: “We are sorry to hear of the passing of Ian “Roycey” Royce.

“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.”

Echoing that sentiment, Myleene wrote: “I’m so sorry to hear this news… He was extremely kind, loving and supportive to me and my girls. I will raise a glass tonight to this extraordinarily talented, kindhearted, loyal man.”

TV presenter, Ben Shephard said: “I’m so so sorry to hear this – I had too many wonderful hilarious times with him, he was one of the best at what he did, a great mate and gave the BEST hugs ever…”

Vernon Kay also paid tribute to Royce, as he recalled: “We had some unbelievable laughs over the years I will miss you, big guy! RIP.”

Fellow TV personality, Gethin Jones said: “Such a lovely, funny man, and a true gent… Immediate flashbacks of his comedy and talent when I read this tragic news.”

Rylan Clark-Neal, Aled Jones, Jamie East, and India Willoughby were also among the stars who shared their condolences on the micro-blogging site.

Royce, who also worked on X-Factor, entered rehab last year after celebrities including Simon Cowell and Ant and Dec helped pay towards his treatment.

Thanking his friends and fans for their support on in November, Royce took to Twitter to share that he had successfully completed his 28 days stay in The Priory and would be continuing his treatment abroad.

He penned: “I just wanted to let you all know that my first 28 days of treatment, have come to an end and I will be going abroad for the next 3 months to continue my treatment and really work on me and issues that have been buried deep for 40 years.

“As well as my alcohol addiction I have also surrendered to my sex and love addictions stemming from my past which have affected my relationships greatly.

“I am committed to working on all of the above to be a better person to me and to others.”

Royce went on to apologise to anyone who had been affected by his addictions, before thanking those who had shown him support and kindness in his time of need.

He continued: “I have f**ked up big time in many areas of my life and I want to apologise to everyone who was caught up in my ‘madness’.”

‘I want to thank everyone who has stood by me, supported me – financially and emotionally. I know this is my last chance at life having been near death more than once.

‘I will be off social media for this duration and I am looking forward to bringing home a new Ian for 2020 who will be true, honest and committed to staying well. So I am wishing you all love and happiness (and a happy Christmas and New Year!!).

“And a massive thank you to again to everyone who is making this happen (no name dropping!). The support has been incredible and I am so so grateful to everyone from the bottom of my heart. Until 2020. Ian xx.”

TV hosts Ant and Dec reportedly donated £5,000 to help fund his stay in rehab.

They were believed to have joined forces with Simon Cowell and Robbie Williams to aid Royce’s battle with alcoholism, over a year after presenter Ant, 44, checked into rehab for his own drink and drug addiction.

More than £12,000 was raised for Ian’s 28-day treatment at The Priory after 75 people donated to help to get Ian’s life back on track.

On the TV personality’s GoFundme page, his friend James Mace has claimed Royce was ‘in desperate need’ after he tried to take his life, and was ‘being treated for a brain injury that he received whilst under the influence’.

The performer boasted a successful career as a warm-up comedian, and has previously starred in The Big Big Talent Show, Talking Telephone Numbers and The Time The Place.

Following the donations, Ian took to Twitter to thank those who donated to the fund, crediting them for ‘saving (his) life’.

As well as tagging Ant and Dec in the message, he also referenced Olly Murs, Robbie and Simon for their contributions.

He wrote: “I am so grateful to so many for saving my life….. Thank you so much, everyone and my amazing girlfriend xx

“@SimonCowell @antanddec @robbiewilliams @ollyofficial thank you for a light…..”

Replying to the post, former BGT act Steve Hewlett wrote: “Job Title…Warm-Up Man & Support to The Stars Support is what you have Ian In 2013 after my BGT final act as soon as I walked off stage to the incredible audience reaction… you were there with a man hug and congrats! I’ll never forget that. I’m just one here for you now.”


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