Gogglebox star George Gilbey’s ‘devastated’ mum breaks silence on his death following 'accident at work'

2 April 2024, 13:15 | Updated: 2 April 2024, 13:17

George Gilbey's mum has broken has paid tribute to her son following his death.
George Gilbey's mum has broken has paid tribute to her son following his death. Picture: Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

George Gilbey’s devastated mum has broken her silence following his death last week.

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Tributes poured in for the Gogglebox star last week after he died aged 40 following an 'accident at work'.

Now his heartbroken mother Linda McGarry, 74, from Clacton-on-Sea has paid tribute to him for the first time.

“I’m devastated, he was like my best friend,” she told the Clacton and Frinton Gazette.

“He had the best heart in the world. He was generous, funny and kind, with bundles of charm and buckets of personality.

“He did more in his 40 years than people do in 90 – he’s even had dinner with the Prince of Dubai. He was crazy, but after coming out of showbiz, he couldn’t get his life back together. He just couldn’t get over the death of Pete."

Mr Gilbey’s step-father Pete McGarry died aged 71 in 2021, shortly after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

She said Mr Gilbey, an electrician and qualified roofer, had only been back at work for three days and was trying to “rebuild his life”.

His mum also revealed that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which she said her son had been struggling to process.

She added: “I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and George took it worse than me. He was a mummy’s boy.

“He came to celebrity over night but didn’t really want to be – he was just normal. But it allowed him to do charity work and anytime anyone contacted him about charity work, he prioritised it."

Read more: Man arrested in connection with death of Gogglebox star George Gilbey who died after fall at work

Read more: Gogglebox and Celebrity Big Brother star George Gilbey dies suddenly aged 40 as heartbroken friends pay tribute

Ms McGarry paid tribute to her son.
Ms McGarry paid tribute to her son. . Picture: Alamy

Speaking about his rise to stardom on the reality show Gogglebox, she said: “He did an interview but his friends were too shy. So they called me in.

“My husband was shy, but he did it anyway. It just took off from there. When they offered him Big Brother we had to come off of it. He was a stay-at-home dad after Amelie was born. He was such a good dad."

The trio found fame on the second series of the reality show in 2013 and later left in 2014 when Mr Gilbey entered the Celebrity Big Brother house. They later rejoined the programme in 2016.

Ms McGarry said his daughter Amelie Iris was his “absolute world” and that he "lived for that little girl and his mum".

“George was a real contradiction he was so funny and so intelligent,” she continued. “A lot of people don’t know how intelligent George was.”

"He was smart, which allowed him to be quick-witted and he was loud and outgoing, but at the same time very sensitive. He helped others, but he struggled himself."

Tributes where left at the scene of the incident.
Tributes where left at the scene of the incident. Picture: Alamy
Ricci Guarnaccio had been close friends with George since starring on Celebrity Big Brother together.
Ricci Guarnaccio had been close friends with George since starring on Celebrity Big Brother together. Picture: Instagram

It comes after Essex Police said on Thursday they had arrested a man in his 40s in connection with the death of Mr Gilbey, who reportedly died after a fall at work.

The force said they were called to an incident in Shoebury in Southend-on-Sea, where a man had died after falling from a height.

Essex Police said: "As part of our ongoing investigation into the death of a man in Campfield Road, Shoebury, on Wednesday 27 March, a man aged in his 40s from the Witham area was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.

"He has now been released under investigation.

"This is a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive and our enquiries are ongoing."

TV personality Ricci Guarnaccio, who featured on Celebrity Big Brother alongside Mr Gilbey, paid tribute to his friend last week.

Sharing a throwback snap of the pair, he said: said: “Breaks my heart but George Gilbey you are well and truely [sic] going to be missed my friend.

“Always lit up the room, cared for others & the memories we made I’ll cherish for ever brother. From CBB to speaking to you last week, I’m going to hugely miss you ma boiii! Love you GG.”

Gogglebox also paid tribute, as they said in a statement: "George was part of the Gogglebox family for eight series alongside his mum Linda and step-dad Pete. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Linda, and George’s family and friends at this very sad time. The family have asked for privacy."

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