Dave Myers, Dr Michael Mosley and Jonnie Irwin

Inside 2024’s heartbreaking deaths: From cancer and “natural causes” to a Corrie legend and crushing Strictly loss

Only six months in and so much loss

We’re only halfway through 2024 and already the deaths of some of our most-loved stars have been announced, devastating fans up and down the country.

Just this month, the shock death of This Morning’s Dr Michael Mosley was announced. He was discovered after becoming lost on the Greek island of Symi during a holiday with his wife.

Sadly, he joins an incredibly heartbreaking long line of celebrities who have already passed away this year.

Here, ED! pays tribute to the famous faces we’ve loved and lost this year, from the world of soap, TV and showbiz…

Dr Michael Mosley on The Project NZ
Michael died age 67 on June 5 (Credit: YouTube)

Death of This Morning’s Dr Michael Mosley

The death of Dr Michael Mosley was announced five days after he went missing during a hike in Greece. Dr Mosley was on the island of Symi with his wife Clare Bailey when he headed off alone for a walk back to their holiday home. When he failed to return six hours later, she raised the alarm.

Sadly, after an extensive search, police found Dr Mosley’s body. Paying tribute to her husband, Dr Bailey said: “I don’t know quite where to begin with this. It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband. We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together.”

Wildlife SOS star Simon Cowell

Simon was aged 72 when his death was announced on June 10.

In 2022, Simon shared the news of his cancer diagnosis. At the time, it was revealed the “aggressive” form of lung cancer was terminal. Sadly, two years later, his death was announced by the charity Wildlife Aid.

A statement issued on behalf of Wildlife Aid Foundation read: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Simon Cowell MBE, conservationist, founder and CEO of the Wildlife Aid Foundation and presenter of Wildlife SOS.

“Simon passed away peacefully on Sunday (June 9) after a brave battle with cancer, surrounded by his daughters, his partner and his dogs,” it then added.

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Rugby legend Rob Burrow

Rugby legend Rob Burrow died in early June after a valiant battle with motor neurone disease.

Prince William was among those paying tribute.

In a message shared on his Instagram Stories, the Prince praised Rob for his courage and inspirational spirit.

“A legend of Rugby League, Rob Burrow had a huge heart. He taught us, ‘in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream,” Prince William wrote. He also extended his sympathies to Rob’s family: “Catherine and I send our love to Lindsey, Jackson, Maya, and Macy.”

Rob Burrow was diagnosed with MND in 2019. Despite his illness, he became an influential advocate for those suffering from MND. His resilience inspired many and brought attention to the needs of others fighting similar battles.

Agadoo legend Colin Gibb

Black Lace founding member Colin Gibb had only just announced his plans to retire ahead of his sudden death in June. It’s claimed he had a heart attack.

His wife Sue posted: “It is with heartbreaking news that I am letting you all know my dearest husband Colin Gibb died this afternoon.

“I love you Colin. You spent 22 years living your Agadoo dream. We were due to retire to spain on Thursday, you were so happy, so looking forward to our new life, now you’re gone.

“As we used to say, always love you forever,” she then added.

Supergran’s Gudrun Ure

Children’s TV favourite Gudrun Ure died at the age of 98 back in May.

Her niece Kate McNeill confirmed her death, according to the BBC.

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This Morning’s showbiz correspondent Sam Rubin

ITV daytime hosts Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley were among those paying tribute to Hollywood correspondent Sam Rubin. He died at the age of 64 back in May.

MailOnline reported he suffered a heart attack. It said he was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but was then pronounced dead on arrival.

Soap star Brian Wenzel

Neighbours and A Country Practice star Brian Wenzel died at the age of 94 back in May. He was days shy of his 95th birthday and had been suffering from dementia.

A family friend shared: “He enjoyed one heck of a career, was one of the nicest people, loved his fans and appreciated the fact that he was so loved.”

Who plays Jackson Jones in Time?
Brian McCardie played Tommy Hunter in Line of Duty (Credit: BBC)

Line of Duty baddie Brian McCardie

The death of actor Brian McCardie was announced at the end of April. He was aged 59 and played OCG boss Tommy Hunter in the series.

His sister shared: “Brian passed away suddenly at home on Sunday 28th April.” It was later revealed that he had died from an “aortic dissection, causing short pain and a sudden death”.

According to the British Heart Foundation, an aortic dissection is “when the weakened wall of the aorta tears, causing blood to leak between the layers that make up the walls of your arteries. This can happen suddenly or slowly over time.”

Warwick Davis beloved wife Sammy

Tenable host Warwick Davis shared that his wife Sammy had died back in April.

Sharing a statement on her shock death, he said: “Her passing has left a huge hole in our lives as a family. I miss her hugs. She was a unique character, always seeing the sunny side of life she had a wicked sense of humour and always laughed at my bad jokes.”

Warwick also said that Samantha was his “most trusted confidant and an ardent supporter of everything I did in my career”.

OJ Simpson

Disgraced American sportstar OJ Simpson also passed away this year.

He died of cancer, aged 76, in April.

Dale Bowes

Steph’s Packed Lunch favourite Dale died from cancer in April.

Steph McGovern was among those paying tribute. She posted: “Gutted to hear that @mrdalebowes has died.” She then added: “Dale was one of our fabulous lunchmates who always brought so much wisdom and joy to the show, even in the middle of his brutal cancer treatment.”

George Gilbey
George Gilbey fell to his death (Credit: YouTube)

Gogglebox star George Gilbey

Back in March the death of Gogglebox star George Gilbey was announced. It was reported that he “fell from height” while working at a warehouse.

Essex Police said in a statement: “We received a report of an incident at Campfield Road in Shoebury at around 10am this morning (March 27), during which a man who was working at height had fallen and sustained an injury.

“The ambulance service including air ambulance were in attendance.” The statement then concluded: “Sadly, the man died at the scene.”

Tina Malone’s husband Paul Chase

Shameless actress Tina Malone announced the heartbreaking news that her husband Paul Chase had died back in March. Paul was aged 42.

Tina then shared that he had taken his own life.

Nick Sheridan

The death of the BBC presenter Nick Sheridan was announced in March. He made his name on BBC Scotland.

The BBC said that he died from a short illness, with reports that Nick collapsed while out running and later died. It was also reported that it was his the second time he’d collapsed in recent weeks after suffering a brain aneurysm.

He reportedly died after several days in intensive care.

Lady Gabriella Windsor’s husband Thomas Kingston

Tragedy rocked the royal family in March when Buckingham Palace announced the death of Thomas Kingston. He was the husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor.

Thomas’ body was found in an outbuilding at his parents’ home. He was found next to a gun, with his cause of death given as a catastrophic gunshot wound to the head.

Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers

Much-loved TV chef Dave Myers died two years after revealing he had been diagnosed with cancer. He died on February 28, with his death being announced on social media by his best pal Si King the following day.

Si shared: “I’m afraid I bear some sad news. Most of you will know Dave has been fighting cancer for the past couple of years. Last night, on 28th February 2024, with Lili, Dave’s wife, his family, close friend David and myself by his side, he passed away peacefully at home.

“All who knew Dave are devastated at his passing. His beloved wife brought him such happiness as did her children, Iza and Sergiu who Dave loved like his own.”

He then added: “Personally, I am not sure I can put into words on how I feel at the moment. My best friend is on a journey that for now, I can’t follow. I will miss him every day and the bond and friendship we shared over half a lifetime. I wish you God’s speed brother; you are and will remain a beacon in this world. See you on the other side. Love ya.”

BGT’s Emma Jones

Singer Emma Jones, who made it to the BGT finals in 2015, died at the age of 32. She was suffering from multiple organ cancer.

The news was shared on her Facebook page: “I’m sorry to have to tell you that Emma Jones has died. She died on Valentine’s Day after being diagnosed with multiple organ cancer.” The statement then added: “The doctor thinks it began as ovarian cancer and spread to other organs.”

Coronation Street star John Savident

The death of Coronation Street legend John Savident was announced in February.

John played Fred Elliott in the long-running ITV1 drama. He was aged 86.

A statement from his agent to the PA news agency said: “We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday.” It then added: “He was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

His character Fred was killed off in 2006, as a result of a stroke on the day he was supposed to marry Bev Unwin.

2024 deaths: Robin Windsor

Back in February, the showbiz world was rocked by the sudden death of Strictly legend Robin Windsor. Robin appeared on Strictly between 2012 and 2014 when he was forced to leave following a back injury.

Despite only being on the show for a handful of years, Robin remained a much-loved member of the Strictly family, both among fans of the show and the professional dancers.

Paying tribute, James Jordan said Robin was “always very caring and fun to be around”.

Robin’s death was announced on February 20, after a frantic three-day search for the star from his friends, such as Strictly pal Vincent Simone. No cause of death has yet been announced. Robin was aged 44 at the time of his death.

Grange Hill star Stuart Organ

February also saw the death of Grange Hill legend Stuart Organ.

He was one of the show’s longest-serving cast members, playing the show’s Mr Robson for 15 years.

No cause of death has yet been announced. Stuart was aged 72 at the time of his death.

Ewan MacIntosh from The Office
The death of The Office star was announced this year (Credit: Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock)

2024 deaths: The Office’s Ewan MacIntosh

The death of The Office star Ewan MacIntosh was also announced this year. He played Keith Bishop in the Ricky Gervais comedy show.

Ewan was 50 at the time of his death and no cause has yet been announced. However, it appears that he died in a care home. A statement said: “Ewen suffered from ill health these past two years and passed peacefully on the 19th February from undisclosed causes.”

Ricky Gervais was among those paying tribute. He said: “Extremely sad news. The very funny and very lovely Ewen Macintosh, known to many as ‘Big Keith’ from The Office, has passed away.” He then added: “An absolute original. RIP.”

BBC Radio DJ Steve Wright

The sudden death of Steve Wright was announced on February 13. He was 69 at the time of his death.

It has been claimed that Steve was in ill health before his death, though. An ambulance was also called to his London home after “an incident”, emergency services said.

Amid claims that he died “of a broken heart” after his Steve Wright in the Afternoon was axed by the BBC, Steve’s brother spoke out.

His brother Laurence said: “He was aware that he could have looked after himself better, in his lifestyle choices. Obviously we all wish he had. It’s like anyone who doesn’t look after themselves over an extended period. The normal stuff – diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress – he was a very stoic kind of guy as well so if he had something wrong with him and he had to go to have some treatment or go to the doctors, he wouldn’t talk about it.

“He was the kind of guy who would just carry on, take care of it, not talk about it, not make a big thing, that kind of stoic sort of attitude. That’s just how he was – that probably didn’t help really, because he wouldn’t have help or take advice necessarily.”

Ian Lavender

Dad’s Army and EastEnders star Ian Lavender’s death was announced on February 5. He was aged 77.

The actor was known for his role as Private Pike in Dad’s Army. He also starred as Derek Harkinson – a friend of Pauline Fowler –  in BBC soap EastEnders.

He was the last surviving member of the Dad’s Army cast.

The Dad’s Army’s social media accounts announced the sad news. A post read: “We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of the wonderful, Ian Lavender. In what truly marks the end of an era, Ian was the last surviving member of the Dad’s Army main cast.

“His wonderful performance as Private Frank Pike will live on for decades to come. He leaves behind a legacy of laughter enjoyed by millions. We will dedicate this year’s tour to his memory. Our thoughts and love are with Ian’s wonderful wife Miki, their family and close friends.”

Emmerdale star Michael Jayston

ITV1 soap Emmerdale lost one of its stars, actor Michael Jayston, on February 3.

He was 88 and died after a short illness.

Michael also appeared in Only Fools and Horses, Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Jonnie Irwin speaking on A Place In The Sun
Jonnie’s death came as a result of a long battle with incurable cancer (Credit: YouTube)

2024 deaths: Jonnie Irwin

The death of A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin was announced on February 2. He was aged 50.

Jonnie died after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. A statement read: “It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jonnie’s passing. A truly remarkable soul, he fought bravely against cancer with unwavering strength and courage. Jonnie touched the lives of so many with his kindness, warmth, and infectious spirit.

“At this time, we kindly ask for the privacy of Jonnie’s family as they navigate through this profound loss. Their grief is immeasurable, and your thoughts, prayers, and support are deeply appreciated. As we remember the beautiful moments shared with Jonnie, let us celebrate a life well-lived and a legacy that will forever be etched in our hearts. Jonnie may be gone from our sight, but his love, laughter, and memories will live on.”

He left behind wife Jess and their three young sons.

Gogglebox star Mummy Pat

Stephen Webb announced the death of his mum, fellow Gogglebox star Mummy Pat, on January 29.

“Mummy Pat , you were one in a million, took everyone at face value, would share your last fiver with a stranger, the salt of the earth and the absolute centre of our world! Rest in peace Mum,” Stephen said.

Pat was 75 and died after a long illness. She appeared alongside her son on the Channel 4 show from series 10 to series 12.

2024 deaths: Troy Beckwith

Neighbours star Troy Beckwith passed away at the age of 48 in January. His death was announced on January 29, with his co-star Kym Valentine, who played Libby Kennedy, announcing the news.

His sister also paid tribute, saying “cancer sucks” and that she knows their mum would be “so happy to be reunited with her boy”.

Crossroads star Charmian Abrahams
Crossroads star Charmian Abrahams died earlier this year as a result of a traffic accident (Credit: Supplied)

Crossroads star Charmian Abrahams

Charmian Abrahams, star of iconic soap Crossroads, died aged 96, her family confirmed.

She was 96 and tragically died as a result of being hit by a delivery van.

A statement released by her family read: “We are devastated that her life has been brought to an end so suddenly and tragically, but we will treasure our memories of her zest for life and the many good times we shared with her.”

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A post shared by Kym Marsh (@marsh_kym)

2024 deaths: Kym Marsh reveals her dad has passed away

Kym Marsh shared the sad news that her dad David had died on January 12. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A statement revealed the family were “heartbroken” as a result of his death. A couple of days later Kym broke her silence and said: “For the first time in my life….I have no words. I love you dad. Always and forever.”

She then said: “Rest easy Pops. Goodnight God bless.”

Annie Nightingale

The death of legendary DJ Annie Nightingale was announced on January 12. She was aged 83. Her family said that she died at home in London after a short illness.

The statement then added: “Annie was a pioneer, trailblazer, and an inspiration to many. Her impulse to share that enthusiasm with audiences remained undimmed after six decades of broadcasting on BBC TV and radio globally.”

James Morrison’s wife Jill Catchpole

Singer James Morrison lost his wife Jill Catchpole back in January to suicide.

A friend said: “Gill was found dead on Friday at the family’s home in Whitminster.” They then said: “James is devastated and is being supported by his family. He is holding it together for their girls but has asked for the family to be left alone to grieve in private.”

Derek Draper: ‘I was so lucky to have you in my life’

Kate Garraway announced the death of her beloved husband Derek Draper on January 5. It came almost four years after he first contracted Covid-19. He was 56.

Kate said: “I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away. As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications.

“Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed. I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible.

“Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support,” she then said.

“Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.”

Read more: Coroner confirms singer Sinead O’Connor’s cause of death

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor