Pete McGarry died aged 71 over the weekend (Picture: Channel 4)
Gogglebox star Pete McGarry died from cancer just days after being told he had six months to live.
The 71-year-old passed away at his home in Essex over the weekend, surrounded by his family, including wife Linda.
A statement denied that McGarry’s death was related to Covid-19, with a statement issued on behalf of the family reading: ‘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.
‘Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew.’
Linda has confirmed that her husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier this year, and despite an operation to remove the tumour, he was told he had six months to live.
McGarry died just days later.
Linda, 71, told The Sun: ‘Pete was a lovely man and I was so lucky to have him for 25 years.
‘I said to him, “we’ve not only been 25 years, it’s been day and night with each other.” He was my life.’
McGarry ended up starring on Gogglebox alongside Linda and her son George Gilbey in 2013, and returned for the seventh series in 2016, with the family becoming firm favourites.
Linda said: ‘When they told Pete he only had six months I said to him, “we have done things that nobody else would ever do in a lifetime.”
‘We’ve been to marvellous places. He was so proud of George when he was in Big Brother too.’
She said that while her husband was shy, he grew to love the attention he got from Gogglebox fans when they went on holidays and cruises.
McGarry is survived by Linda, her two grown-up sons, including George, his two daughters who he shared with his late first wife Sue, and his grandchildren.
He was also a foster parent, with him and Linda fostering over 100 children since 2000.
Linda said that her phone ‘had not stopped ringing’ since her husband died with their former foster children sharing their support and condolences.
She previously spoke of the joy fostering brought her and McGarry, telling the 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.’
Gogglebox stars including Tom Malone and fans of the show have shared their condolences following the news.