Frank Skinner has paid tribute to comedian Gareth Richards as he introduced a special edition of a podcast featuring the best bits of the radio show they co-hosted.
Richards’ death was announced yesterday almost two weeks after he suffered brain injuries in a motorway crash.
Describing Richards as a “former colleague and dear friend”, Skinner said: “There’s been lots of beautiful messages about Gareth and his family have been very kind to us and kept us informed about the details of his struggle but look, Gareth didn’t make it.
“Gareth didn’t make it and we will miss him intensely.
“He was a very kind, gentle, funny, fascinating man and I can’t believe that he…
“Today’s show features Gareth’s best bits but you are allowed to cry but you have to laugh as well, I think he would have insisted on that.”
Skinner and Richards worked together during the early days of the Saturday morning show on Absolute Radio.
The comedian died on Friday, his wife Laura said in a post on social media.
“He was in a terrible car accident on Monday 27 March at 11.30pm and sustained serious brain injuries,” she wrote.
“It was a miracle that he arrived at the hospital alive.
“Since then, the doctors and nurses have been incredible and have kept him in a stable and sedated condition.
“However, the latest scan revealed that the extent of the damage was so severe that they would have to remove all of the supportive medications and allow him to be at peace.”
‘We will miss him greatly’
The comedian had his first ever gig in October 2004, aboard the Wibbly Wobbly Boat, a venue compered by alternative comedy veteran Malcolm Hardy.
His success led to him becoming a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year 2007 competition, and he also became a runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off 2007.
In 2010 the comedian went onto leading his first solo stand-up on “Stand Up Between Songs” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Richards was also nominated for Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer.
During his career, Richards also appeared on many radio shows including Russell Howard’s Good News and later joined Skinner’s award winning radio show for two years.
Following the announcement of his death, tributes began to pour in from heartbroken fans, friends and family.
The Frank Skinner Show shared a statement on Twitter following Richards death that said: “We are heartbroken about the loss of our dear friend, Gareth. We will miss him greatly.
“Tomorrow we will be releasing a podcast of some of his Best Bits on our show.”
Emily Dean, a co-host in Skinner’s podcast said: “God I will miss you Gareth Richards – my hilarious, unfailingly kind, gentle, beautiful friend. So grateful to have known you.”