Gogglebox star Linda McGarry pays tribute to son George Gilbey after ‘devastating’ death

Linda McGarry pictured with her late son George Gilbey (Getty)
Linda McGarry pictured with her late son George Gilbey (Getty)

Gogglebox star Linda McGarry has paid tribute to her co-star son, George Gilbey, who died last Wednesday aged 40.

The mother and son pairing became fan favourites while they appeared on the Channel 4 series alongside McGarry’s late husband and Gilbey’s stepdad Pete.

Reflecting on her son’s tragic death, McGarry said she was “devastated” after a workplace incident saw Gilbey fell from a height.

She said: “I’m devastated – he was like my best friend. 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.”

The TV star shared that Gilbey, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, had been trying to “rebuild his life after “coming out of showbiz” following the death of Pete’s death from bowel cancer in 2021.

She added that her son also recently struggled with the news his mother had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, telling the Mirror, “George took it worse than me.”

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

McGarry described her son, who had a seven-year-old daughter with his ex-partner, as a “real contradiction”.

She concluded: “He was so funny and so intelligent. 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.”

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

They confirmed that the ambulance service and air ambulance attended but, despite efforts to save Gilbey, he died at the scene.

The authorities have since launched a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive and inquiries are ongoing.

A man, who is in his 40s and from the Witham area of Essex, was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.He has since been released by police under investigation.