HEARTBROKEN comic Lee Mack has led the tributes to 8 Out Of 10 Cats star Sean Lock who has died from cancer.
The 58-year-old – who previously battled skin cancer in 1990 – passed away at home surrounded by his family.
He was "quietly wrestling" with the disease after keeping his lengthy fight out of the spotlight.
The Channel 4 star leaves behind his wife Anoushka Nara Giltsoff and their three children.
Close friend Lee – best known as a Would I Lie To You? panellist – said this morning as the tragic news broke: "I’ve known this day was coming for some time, but it’s no less heart-breaking.
"A true original both in comedy and life. I will miss him so much."
Meanwhile Jon Richardson, Sean's 8 Out Of 10 Cats fellow team captain, said: "I idolised Sean as a comic long before I became a comedian myself and ten years working alongside him didn’t diminish that in the least.
"An incredible comic brain and a truly unique voice."
Jason Manford shared a screenshot of his final text to Sean earlier this month sending his love and "wishing him and his family well".
The star told fans: "I texted him couple of weeks ago and I’m now so glad I did.
"If you’ve a friend who’ve you not spoken to for a while, drop them a message and check in. It could be the last time. RIP Sean."
Comedian Ricky Gervais also expressed his upset at the shock news.
He wrote: "Such sad news. RIP the great Sean Lock. One of the funniest, most influential comedians of a generation. A lovely man."
Stand-up comic John Bishop said: "I am shocked and saddened at the news of the loss of Sean Lock.
"He was a brilliant comedian but more importantly he was a great person on so many levels . He will be missed hugely."
Pointless host Richard Osmond said: "Over 15 years producing '8 Out Of 10 Cats' Sean Lock made me laugh so much and so often.
"A unique and brilliant comic voice. Love to his family and his many friends."
Comic Eddie Izzard wrote: "So sorry to hear this. Farewell Sean, you brought a wonderful comedic talent to the world and you will be missed."
Jonathan Creek star Alan Davies added: "Sad news about Sean Lock. Funny on stage, hilarious off. We met in 1988 right at the start of our stand up careers.
"I hadn’t seen him in recent years as he quietly wrestled with illness but I feel very sad today for Anoushka and their children. RIP Locky."
His devastated pal, Strictly champion Bill Bailey, said: "It’s heartbreaking to lose my dearest friend Sean Lock.
"He was a true original, a wonderful comic. All my thoughts are with his family."
Sean's agent confirmed today the dad-of-three had passed away from cancer surrounded by his family.
A statement from Off The Kerb Productions said: "It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sean Lock.
"He died at home from cancer, surrounded by his family.
"Sean was one of Britain's finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.
"Sean was also a cherished husband and father to three children.
"Sean will be sorely missed by all that knew him.
"We kindly request that the privacy of his family and children is respected at this difficult time."
Sean was diagnosed with skin cancer while he worked as a labourer on a building site in the 90s.
He went on to make a full recovery and has since worked with others to help raise awareness of the disease.
Channel 4 bosses – who worked with Sean for more than 20 years – also paid tribute to the comic.
A statement read: "Incredibly sad to learn of the loss of one of our greatest comedians, Sean Lock.
"A much loved part of the C4 family he’s played a huge role on the channel for over 2 decades, and we’ll miss him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Sean began his comedy career in 1993 when he joined Newman And Baddiel In Pieces, alongside Rob Newman and David Baddiel.
Lock also edited the script for the 1998 BBC Two series, Is It Bill Bailey? and had his own show on BBC Radio 4 called 15 Minutes Of Misery.
This was later expanded into TV series 15 Storeys High, where Lock played a cynical character called Vince who lived in a tower block with Benedict Wong as his flatmate.
Lock appeared on Jimmy Carr's Big Fat Quiz of the Year alongside James Corden in 2006 and also performed a gig at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.
He also made appearances on panel shows including Have I Got News for You, QI, and They Think It's All Over.
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