The pair were close friends, with Bailey keeping in touch with Lock after his lung cancer diagnosis in the final months of his life.
Lock, whose illness was not made public, died in August 2021 aged 59, and Bailey has regularly paid tribute to his friend, calling him “utterly original” and “a man of boundless creativity” during a moving speech on comedy special Stand Up to Cancer.
Now, more than two years since Lock’s death, Bailey, who has been open about his bereavement, says that he often goes to text Lock having forgotten he is no longer with us.
“My friend Sean Lock died a few years ago,” he said during an interview with young grief charity Winston's Wish. “The nature of grief means that there are those moments that just keep happening. Those triggers – you never know when they’re going to arrive, and you never know from what source they’ll come or what the catalyst will be. They can sometimes just ambush.”
He continued: “It’s happened to me on a few occasions with Sean and it can be anything. Sometimes, I see something and think ‘Oh I should tell Sean’ and I go to text him. I see something funny and think that he’d like that. There’s a location, a piece of music, even a taste and it takes me back.”
Bailey said he learnt to realise “you can’t control what happens to you” thanks to Lock, explaining: “Sean thought a great deal of his own situation and he was brilliant. Through him I learned that the only thing we can control is how we feel about something, our own emotions and how we deal with it.”
The comedian and former Strictly Come Dancing winner added: “Through him I learned that we can only control our emotions. In a way I found tremendous comfort in that.”
Bailey also recalled going on “long walks” with Lock, saying that the memory of the picnics they used to have “are always with us”.
One year after Lock’s death, Bailey participated in a charity walk, raising more than £100,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support alongside Lee Mack and Lock’s family.
Lock was best known for being the team captain on Channel 4 series 8 Out of 10 Cats, presented by Jimmy Carr, for 10 years from 2005. He was replaced by Rob Beckett in 2016.
Lock was also team captain alongside Jon Richardson on spin-off 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.