McGarry, who stared on Gogglebox with his family, has died (Picture: Channel 4)
Gogglebox star Pete McGarry has died aged 71 after a short illness.
The TV favourite died at the weekend, according to Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert, with his family by his side.
McGarry, along with his wife Linda and son, George Gilbey, originally joined the Channel 4 programme for its second series in 2013.
The Clacton couple returned to the show for the seventh series in 2016 and have been series regulars and firm favourites ever since.
A statement issued on behalf of the family said: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce that Gogglebox star Pete McGarry passed away at the age of 71 this weekend with his family by his side after a short illness.’
It was added that McGarry’s death was not related to Covid-19.
The statement continued: ‘Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew.
‘Our thoughts are with Linda, their children and grandchildren.
‘Since 2000, Pete and Linda have fostered over 100 children and he is a beloved father, husband and grandfather.
‘The family have asked for privacy at this sad time.’
Fellow Gogglebox star Tom Malone Jr shared a tribute to McGarry, as he wrote on social media: ‘Thoughts and prayers to his family ?? He’ll be missed ?’
McGarry and his wife had spoken of the children they’d fostered over the decades, saying it was something they ‘loved’ doing.
Linda previously told Daily Star: ‘It’s enhanced our lives so much. It’s very rewarding. I’ve just loved doing it.
‘I always say all you need to be a foster parent is a spare room, a sense of humour and a good heart.
‘I’ve just brought them up as my own. On Mother’s Day I get so many phone calls. They don’t forget you. A lot still regard me and Pete as their parents.’
Many of the children the couple cared for at their home were struggling to cope with life.
Linda said: ‘When they’ve been taken away from their parents and siblings it can be dreadful for them.
‘It’s like a bereavement. It ain’t their fault, it’s just the situation they’re in.
‘They’re often petrified when they first come to us. But I make them feel welcome and tell them to help themselves if they’re hungry and tell them it’s their home.
‘We’ve had some of them get into trouble. We look after teenagers now, which can be difficult. There have been some dreadful situations but we stick with them. We’ve gone with them to court.
‘You have to let your kids make mistakes and still be there to pick them up. Not all parents can do that.
‘A lot of kids are bitter about the time they have with social services but ours aren’t. They say coming to us was the best thing that could have happened to them.’
Credit: Original article published here.