Skip to main content

Comedian Sean Hughes Dies At Age 51

Legendary Comedic Actor Jay Thomas Dies At 69 Promo Image

British comedian Sean Hughes has died after suffering cardiac arrest and cirrhosis of the liver.

Hughes, 51, was hospitalized on the night of Oct. 15 and passed away shortly thereafter, reports The Guardian.

The Irish jokester is perhaps best known for creating and starring in quirky 1990s sitcom "Sean's Show" and for his role as a team captain on comedy quiz show "Never Mind the Buzzcocks" from 1996 to 2002.

"Sean Hughes won the Perrier [award] the summer I decided to try being a comic," said comedian Al Murray, who called Hughes' death "terribly sad news," according to BBC. "He was being daft, meta, ironic and Byronic all at once, after a decade when stand-up had reinvented itself."

Murray added that Hughes "made stand-up look fun, glamorous and above all a creative place where you could play."

Image placeholder title

Despite his offbeat public persona, many of those who knew Hughes well recalled a troubled person who went through rough patches, drank heavily but flirted with sobriety, and had a tendency to push away those who cared for him, notes The Guardian. 

He reportedly had lofty poetic goals and was dissatisfied with his quiz show fame, though others recalled him as a caring, generous man, particularly in the later years of his life.

After taking a break from comedy and pursuing other creative ventures upon exiting "Never Mind the Buzzcocks," he returned to standup in 2006.

"Maybe he got back to doing it on his own terms," said comedian Adam Hills. "It felt to me in his last few years that he was doing it because he liked it ... What I felt in the last couple of years was how genuinely concerned he was about how I was doing and how much he cared."

Image placeholder title

Comedian Carl Donnelly was close with Hughes and said that while "his death came as a shock" to those "who hadn't seen him for a while," Donnelly had been worrying about his friend for months, notes The Guardian.

"He showed up [to a show in Edinburgh, Scotland] and -- there's no easy way to say it -- he looked like a dead man walking," Donnelly told The Guardian. "I went to see his first performance, and he shouldn't have been on stage. After the first week, I told him he needed to cancel the run and go home and see a doctor. It was like he was waiting for someone to give him permission."

Three days later, Hughes still had not visited the doctor.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian / Featured Image: Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano/U.S. Air Force / Embedded Images: Sean Hughes/Twitter (2)

Popular Video