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Featured Image Credit: Channel 4
A statement released on the popular programme's Twitter page explained: "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, his wife Linda and her son originally joined Gogglebox at the start of the 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.
"Pete will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew."
The heartfelt announcement continued: "Our thoughts are with Linda, their children and grandchildren. Since 2000, Pete and Linda have fostered over a hundred children and he is a beloved father, husband and grandfather.
"The family have asked for privacy at this sad time."
Pete's death was not linked to coronavirus.
Fans were quick to send their condolences on Twitter underneath the statement, offering their sympathy to Linda and those who were close to Pete.
Comedian Paddy McGuinness wrote: "Such a shame, one of the OG's. Rest in peace."
"I am in shock, such a shame," another fan wrote. "Lovely, funny and brilliant man."
"Pete was such a presence on Gogglebox and he and Linda were an amazing couple together. My very best wishes to Linda, George, and all who knew and loved him," added another.
A fourth viewer wrote: "Really very sad to hear this new, Pete and Linda were my favourites from the beginning.
"He came across as a bit softy and you could see the tears in his eyes on some sad occasions on the show, cracker of a smile."
Currently, Channel 4 is airing Celebrity Gogglebox on Friday nights. The regular edition of the show is available to watch on Netflix and All 4.