Frank Skinner breaks down on air over death of co-star Gareth Richards

Frank Skinner breaks down on air over death of co-star Gareth Richards

April 10, 2023

Frank Skinner pays emotional tribute to late co-star

Comedian Frank Skinner, 66, talked about the death of his co-star and close pal Gareth Richards, 41, who died on Friday after spending two weeks in hospital following a car crash. The presenter could be heard getting choked up as he broke down in tears during his Absolute Radio show on Easter Sunder when he paid tribute to his “kind, gentle, funny” colleague.

Gareth sustained serious brain injuries following the crash, which took place on March 27, and spent weeks in hospital.

Last weekend, Frank pleaded with viewers to “pray” for Gareth who was fighting for his life, adding: “There is always hope”.

Sadly, Gareth’s wife announced on Friday that he had died of his injuries.

Speaking to listeners tuned into Absolute Radio, Frank paid a heartfelt tribute to his friend on Sunday.

“Hello, this is Frank Skinner,” he began in a special podcast instalment of the show.

He continued: “Last week some of you will know that I ended the show by telling you that our former colleague and dear friend Gareth Richards had been in a serious road accident and was fighting for his life.

“And there’s been lots of beautiful messages about Gareth and his family have been very kind of us in that they’ve informed us 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…”

Frank took a pause to compose himself before adding: “Anyway, today’s show features Gareth’s best bits and you’re allowed to cry but you have to laugh as well, I think he would have insisted.”

Gareth had been part of Frank’s Absolute Radio show right from the beginning, having co-presented it with him alongside Emily Dean when it first launched back in 2009.

Gareth, whose Oscar and BAFTA-winning brother Joshua James is a cinematographer, had also supported Frank out on tour.

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Frank emotionally informed viewers of the accident and tearfully admitted things weren’t “looking great”.

Gareth’s wife Laura updated the public with the tragic news in a statement on social media.

She explained: “It is with great sadness that I have to share that Gareth passed away on Friday 7th April (Good Friday) at 6:30pm.

“He was in a terrible car accident on Monday 27th March at 11:30pm and sustained serious brain injuries.

“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 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.

“There will be details of the funeral and other ways to remember Gareth to follow, as I know that he was well loved.

“At the moment the grief is a lot to cope with. Thank you all for your support and kindness.”

Announcing the news on Twitter on Saturday, Frank tweeted: “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.”

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