TV & Movies

Piers Morgan tearful as he pays tribute to Life Stories star Ian Royce

Piers Morgan paid held back tears on Good Morning Britain today as he paid tribute to comedian Ian Royce who tragically passed away.

Ian's daughter Roxanna announced the tragic news on social media on Tuesday. She said her dad, 51, had died following a health battle.

The comedian was the beloved warm-up act for various ITV shows for 13 years, including Britain's Got Talent and Piers Morgan's Life Stories.

Piers was clearly emotional as he spoke to viewers about Ian. He said: "Very sad news I heard from his daughter Roxanne, probably the most famous person you may not have heard of, but he was famous in the industry.

"He was the best funniest warm up guy there was. Such a thankless task in so many ways. Roycey was the best I've ever worked with, he did BGT, he did the American one when I went over there. He did almost every one of my life story shows.

"He was funny, he had a lot of demons which if you'd followed him on Twitter you will know. But he had a zest for life, he was a hilariously funny guy and he also had a great love for his daughter Roxanne who let me know yesterday."

Richard Arnold shared his memories of Ian, saying: "He was incredibly warm spirited and if you were just a guest on one of these shows he always made you feel like the star, like your name was above the door in lights."

Piers nodded as he continued: "He used to come out on every single Life Stories and I'd be standing wanting to listen to his set, and he'd always say at the end 'ladies and gentlemen, Piers Morgan, big M small Organ.'"

The presenter concluded: "He'll be greatly missed by everyone in this business I'll miss him. Roycey, thanks for all the laugh."

The tragic news was announced on his Twitter account on Tuesday evening.

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A statement was shared on his verified Twitter account with his 68,100 followers which 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. Roxanne."

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV

  • Good Morning Britain
  • ITV
  • Piers Morgan

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