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June Bernicoff, 'Gogglebox' OG superstar, passes away at 82 after short illness

Channel 4 and production firm Studio Lambert issued a statement on behalf of her family
Leon Bernicoff and June Bernicoff (Getty Images)
Leon Bernicoff and June Bernicoff (Getty Images)

TV series 'Gogglebox' star June Bernicoff has passed away at the age of 82 following a short illness.

Channel 4 and production firm Studio Lambert issued a statement on behalf of her family.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Gogglebox’s much-loved June Bernicoff passed away at the age of 82 on May 5 at home with her family by her side after a short illness," the statement read.

“As the first couple to be cast for 'Gogglebox' back in 2013 June and her husband Leon were a huge part of the program’s success. Their warmth, wit, and contrasting personalities endeared them to the nation during the course of the first 10 series," it continued. “Following Leon’s passing in December 2017, June wrote her first book, 'Leon And June: Our Story', which was a deeply moving and entertaining chronicle of their 60-year love affair."

June was described as a "remarkably independent, principled woman with a vivacious sense of humor and a huge passion for life" who will be missed by the entire team of 'Gogglebox', including its cast and crew.

“Despite her departure from the show in 2017, she remained a passionate supporter of the program, watching it every week, and she was in regular contact with the production team," the statement continued. “Our thoughts are with June’s family — Helen and Ian, Julie and Marc, and her beloved grandchildren Frances, Sam and Faye. The family would like to ask for privacy at this sad time but would like to thank the hospice staff that supported them and cared for June so wonderfully and with such compassion in her final weeks."

Tania Alexander, the executive producer of the show, said June did not die from Covid-19.

"Absolutely heartbroken to tell you that our beloved June Bernicoff passed away on Tuesday following a short illness — it was not related to Covid-19," Tania wrote on Twitter. "June & Leon were the #Gogglebox originals & a huge part of the show’s success. I adored them both. Big kiss June darling."

Leon, her husband of 57 years, died in February 2018. June later remembered how she was overcome with emotion after watching an episode of the show dedicated to him.

“I looked over to his chair and when I saw it, that was the first time I really, really cried after he died," she said.

“I do still watch 'Gogglebox' every week. In a way, even though I am no longer part of the show, 'Gogglebox' is still a big part of me," she wrote in the book. “Being involved in the show so late in our lives provided us with a host of unexpected pleasures."

The famous couple made waves across the globe after first appearing on 'Gogglebox' in March 2013.

Leon and June were among the most memorable couples chosen during their 10 series, which saw Leon display his sharp wit and intelligence in targeting various personalities such as Nigel Farage and David Cameron.

Meanwhile, June made the show whole by offering a more measured approach to the issues.