Jimmy Carr, Jack Whitehall and more pay tribute to comedian Ian Cognito after he died on stage during a performance
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Jimmy Carr, Matt Lucas, Rufus Hound and many more comedians have paid tribute to Ian Cognito after he passed away while on stage during a performance.

Veteran British comedian Ian was performing at a comedy club in Bicester on Thursday evening (April 11) when he fell ill on stage, with BBC News reporting that the crowd initially thought it was part of the act.

"Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking," compere Andrew Bird, who runs the Lone Wolf Comedy Club event at the venue, said. "Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say 'boo'."

Once it became clear something was wrong, two off-duty A&E nurses and a police officer began chest compressions and an ambulance was called, with the South Central Ambulance Service confirming that Cognito was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage - literally," Carr wrote on Twitter.

"The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That's commitment to comedy. I'll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was."

"In shock at the news of Ian Cognito's sudden passing," tweeted Lucas. "He was always kind to me when I started out, and brilliant and provocative and entirely original onstage. What a loss."

Read more tributes from Jack Whitehall, Shappi Khorsandi, Omid Djalili and more below:

Speaking after his dad's death, former Skins star Ollie Barbieri said that he was "blown away" by all the tributes as he added one of his own.

"I’m absolutely blown away by the tributes today to @TheIanCognito," he wrote. "Reading the memories of other people have of him has helped wring a few smiles out of a shit day.

"A great comedian but to @WillBarbieri1 and I, the best Dad you could ask for."


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