One of the stars of BBC comedy This Country, Michael Sleggs, has died at the age of 33.
The actor from Cirencester, played the character Slugs in BBC Three’s Bafta-winning sitcom.
Earlier this year, he revealed on social media that he had been in and out of hospital and was receiving palliative care for heart failure.
“We are completely heartbroken,” the show’s co-creators and stars Charlie and Daisy May Cooper wrote on Twitter.
“Michael was utterly unique. He was kind, he was caring, he was loving. One of the most considerate, generous and gentle friends you could ever wish for and funny.”
The WTAF A This Country podcast’s official Twitter account initially shared the news, posting: “We are devastated!”
His friend and actor Camilla-Alicia Bates said Sleggs had died on Tuesday. “So grateful I got to spend his final resting with him and so glad he is out of pain and at peace. I love you forever,” she posted on Twitter.
The mockumentary chronicled the lives of people living in a small village in the Cotswolds. In the show, Sleggs – a personal friend of the Coopers – had terminal cancer and drew up a bucket list, which included playing Laser Quest.
The show’s producer Simon Mayhew-Archer said Sleggs “encapsulated the spirit” of the show and “brought tremendous joy to all who knew him”.
Shane Allen, controller of BBC Comedy, added that he was “crushed by this sad news”.
He said: “Michael was a true one off and an idiosyncratic part of the show’s distinctive world. His work and spirit will endure as part of the ongoing popular legacy of this much-loved show. Our hearts go out to family and friends at this poignant time.”