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Beloved ITV warm-up guy Ian Royce dies, aged 51

Beloved ITV warm-up guy Ian Royce dies, aged 51
© ITV
Ian Royce, warm-up comedian for ITV shows including Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor, dies at the age of 51.

Stars of ITV have been paying tribute to audience warm-up man Ian Royce following his death at the age of 51.

The comedian was the go-to man of choice for Simon Cowell's shows, including The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, as well as ITV series including Dancing On Ice, Family Fortunes and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

Last year Royce entered rehab for alcohol addiction but passed away on Tuesday from multiple organ failure and pneumonia.

A statement from his daughter Roxanne 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 x"

Piers Morgan posted on Twitter: "RIP Ian 'Roycey' Royce. Funniest warm-up man in showbiz and a legend in the TV industry. Worked with him on ⁦@BGT⁩, ⁦@AGT⁩ & most of my Life Stories shows. Great guy, very loyal friend, & such a proud dad to his daughter Roxanne. Thanks for all the laughs mate."

Ant and Dec said: "We are sorry to hear of the passing of Ian 'Roycey' Royce. (@officialroycey) He was an integral part of the #BGT team for many years. Our thoughts are with his beloved Roxy and all his family. RIP Roycey. We'll never forget you. X"

In a statement to the Daily Mail, Cowell's firm Syco said: "Our thoughts and love are with Roycey's family at this extremely difficult time."

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