Family members have paid tribute to ‘kind and gentle’ Gogglebox star George Gilbey following his sudden death on Wednesday morning. 

The 40-year old former TV personality fell to his death while working in Shoebury, near Southend-On-Sea in Essex, just three years after losing his stepfather to bowel cancer.

Gilbey’s heartbroken relative Sabrina Browning has since shared a tributes to her older brother with Instagram followers. 

‘My heart is in absolute pieces,’ she wrote on Thursday. ‘You will be missed so much, no words can explain the kind and gentle heart you showed to all you loved and cared for, thank you for everything, rest in eternal paradise brother.’

Browning also shared a series of photos, among them an image of Gilbey holding one of the two TV BAFTA Awards won by Gogglebox after being named Best Reality and Constructed Factual show in 2014 and 2022. 

Family members have paid tribute to 'kind and gentle' Gogglebox star George Gilbey following his sudden death on Wednesday morning

Family members have paid tribute to 'kind and gentle' Gogglebox star George Gilbey following his sudden death on Wednesday morning

Family members have paid tribute to ‘kind and gentle’ Gogglebox star George Gilbey following his sudden death on Wednesday morning

Gilbey became a household name on Gogglebox alongside mother Linda and stepfather Pete

Gilbey became a household name on Gogglebox alongside mother Linda and stepfather Pete

Gilbey became a household name on Gogglebox alongside mother Linda and stepfather Pete

Blessed with a lively sense of humour, the Essex native charmed viewers with his jocular attitude and his loving relationship with his mother Linda McGarry and step-father Pete.

An appearance on Celebrity Big Brother introduced him to a new legion of fans, and appeared to confirm his rising star among the UK’s TV scene.

But behind the jokes and the banter, Gilbey appeared to have some trouble adjusting to the fame he found with the hit Channel 4 show and ending up in court for his off-screen behaviour.

He wasn’t seen on TV again after being convicted of trying to strangle the mother of his child, and a prison sentence for drink driving appeared to seal the end of his Gogglebox career.

His death at the age of 40 yesterday in a workplace accident – just three years after step-father passed away from bowel cancer – sparked a wave of tributes from former co-stars and fans alike.

Heartbroken friends have claimed that after a troubled few years, the star had been working hard to get his life back on track for the sake of his much-loved daughter.

A police cordon in place at EGL Homecare on Wednesday, where the tragedy is understood to have unfolded. A large blue cherry picker can be seen leading up to the roof

A police cordon in place at EGL Homecare on Wednesday, where the tragedy is understood to have unfolded. A large blue cherry picker can be seen leading up to the roof

A police cordon in place at EGL Homecare on Wednesday, where the tragedy is understood to have unfolded. A large blue cherry picker can be seen leading up to the roof

The former reality TV star rose to fame on Gogglebox with his mother Linda and step-father Pete (pictured together in 2015)

The former reality TV star rose to fame on Gogglebox with his mother Linda and step-father Pete (pictured together in 2015)

The former reality TV star rose to fame on Gogglebox with his mother Linda and step-father Pete (pictured together in 2015) 

Speaking to The Sun, they said the loss of the father-of-one would hit his family hard, especially his mother Linda given it is so close to the passing of her husband.

They said: ‘Nobody deserves this to happen so young – 40 is no age. He had started going to the gym and working very hard to do well for his family.

‘This will hit his family very hard, especially Linda. First, she lost Pete, now her son as well.

‘She is incredibly emotional. George was like her little treasure.

‘He was a good bloke with a big heart who loved his family. He was a bit of a party lad, but he was good entertainment.’

When he first appeared the second season of Gogglebox in 2013, few could have imagined what the next decade had in store for the then-30-year-old.

Flanked by mother Linda and step-father Pete at their home in Clacton-on-Sea, the family became a regular and welcome sight for viewers of the show.

Known to his friends as Squeaky George because of his high-pitched voice, Gilbey became popular for his sense of humour and the obvious bond he shared with his parents.

The Gilbey family left Gogglebox in 2014 when George (pictured) entered the Celebrity Big Brother house on rival Channel 5

The Gilbey family left Gogglebox in 2014 when George (pictured) entered the Celebrity Big Brother house on rival Channel 5

The Gilbey family left Gogglebox in 2014 when George (pictured) entered the Celebrity Big Brother house on rival Channel 5

Gilbey pictured with his ex-partner Gemma Conway, with whom he shares a seven-year-old daughter

Gilbey pictured with his ex-partner Gemma Conway, with whom he shares a seven-year-old daughter

Gilbey pictured with his ex-partner Gemma Conway, with whom he shares a seven-year-old daughter

It had been an accident of fate that allowed the trio to appear on screen together, with Linda’s son only moving back in with his parents following the end of a long-term relationship.

He admitted he’d had doubts before appearing on the programme, saying in 2014: ‘I’ve seen those shows like Come Dine With Me where people don’t come across particularly well, but I have to say I’m really happy with how it’s gone so far.’

Things would get even better, with Gogglebox winning a BAFTA the same year followed by a surprisingly Lothario-like appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.

The unlikely womaniser had spent the early part of the series charming Made in Chelsea star Stephanie Pratt, even sharing a kiss with the American and discussing whether they would be each other’s ‘back-up plan’ in case they hadn’t met anyone else in five years time.

However, after Pratt was voted out of the house, he quickly moved on to Edele Lynch, from Irish girl band B*Witched, with the pair heard smooching underneath the covers of his bed.

In recent years Gilbey had worked hard to get his life back on track, including working for supermarket Morrisons during the COVID-19 pandemic

In recent years Gilbey had worked hard to get his life back on track, including working for supermarket Morrisons during the COVID-19 pandemic

In recent years Gilbey had worked hard to get his life back on track, including working for supermarket Morrisons during the COVID-19 pandemic 

This was the last photo that George Gilbey posted of himself on social media just four days before his death - he said he had just bought a gym membership

This was the last photo that George Gilbey posted of himself on social media just four days before his death - he said he had just bought a gym membership

This was the last photo that George Gilbey posted of himself on social media just four days before his death – he said he had just bought a gym membership

However, even as early as then cracks were beginning to appear, with Gilbey admitting that he had blown most of his CBB earnings by gambling, even losing £12,000 in one night at a casino.

His decision to jump ship to the Channel 5 show had other consequences, as Channel 4 axed his family from the show in retribution for moving to the rival service.

But he remained busy while off screen, returning to his career as an electrician and kindling up a romance with Gemma Conway, who he would go onto have a daughter called Amelie with in 2016.

His decision to jump ship to the Channel 5 show had other consequences, as Channel 4 axed his family from the show in retribution for moving to the rival service.

But he remained busy while off screen, returning to his career as an electrician and kindling up a romance with Gemma Conway, who he would go onto have a daughter called Amelie with in 2016.

George Gilbey is pictured during Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, in which he finished fourth

George Gilbey is pictured during Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, in which he finished fourth

George Gilbey is pictured during Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, in which he finished fourth

George Gilbey is pictured on Celebrity Big Brother. He made the final in the fourteenth series

George Gilbey is pictured on Celebrity Big Brother. He made the final in the fourteenth series

George Gilbey is pictured on Celebrity Big Brother. He made the final in the fourteenth series

In 2018 he was convicted of attacking the mother of his child in a drunken rage at her flat in Twickenham.

The assault, which saw Gilbey throw a TV at his ex-girlfriend and smash up her flat while their daughter slept upstairs, left Gemma begging him not to kill her.

The court heard he punched Conway ‘around ten times’ before hitting her with household objects and throwing them at her. He is then said to have strangled her with both hands and trashed her flat as she lay bleeding.

The reality star would avoid an immediate prison sentence, instead being given a community order and told to pay £1,105 in compensation.

His own lawyers painted a grim picture of his personal life, revealing that Gilbey was in considerable debt and could not afford to pay the court costs or compensation.

Just one year later he did not get such a reprieve, as he was jailed for three months after being caught drink driving at a petrol station.

Essex Police said a man had fallen from a height and died on Campfield Road (pictured) in Shoebury

Essex Police said a man had fallen from a height and died on Campfield Road (pictured) in Shoebury

Essex Police said a man had fallen from a height and died on Campfield Road (pictured) in Shoebury

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