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The comedy legend, who won fans with his stand-up and appearances on panel shows, died aged 58 from cancer.

While Lock's battle with cancer was not made public, his closest friends including Bailey and Hill kept in close contact.

Sean's death was announced on Wednesday in a statement from his agent Off The Kerb Productions, which said : 'It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sean Lock.

He died at home from cancer, surrounded by his family.

'Sean was one of Britain's finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.

'Sean was also a cherished husband and father to three children.

Sean will be sorely missed by all that knew him."

Lock appeared on the show’s Countdown spin-off in February (Picture: Channel 4)

We kindly request that the privacy of his family and children is respected at this difficult time. '

Tributes have poured in from his close friends and fellow comedy stars, including Jon Richardson, Jimmy Carr, and Lee Mack.

Tributes have come in, with comedian Lee Mack, a close friend of Lock's, saying :' I ’ ve known this day was coming for some time, but it ’ s no less heart-breaking.

' A true original both in comedy and life.

So sad: It was revealed on Wednesday that the much-loved 8 Out Of 10 Cats star died of cancer aged 58 surrounded by his family at home

I will miss him so much. '

Tributes have been paid to the comedian Sean Lock, who has died of cancer at the age of 58.

In 2005, Lock became a regular team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats, a role he held for 18 series.

lee mack, a comedian and close friend, also paid tribute to lock : "i think the appeal of him as a viewer was that it felt like you were with your mate down the pub and he was making you laugh.

Lock, here on stage in 2009, won awards for his stand-up (Picture: Jo Hale/Getty Images)

he later developed skin cancer, which he blamed on overexposure to the sun while working on building sites before he became a comedian.

One of his first professional TV appearances was in 1993, starring alongside Rob Newman and David Baddiel on their TV show Newman and Baddiel in Pieces.

he script-edited the 1998 bbc two series is it bill bailey?

and had his own show on BBC Radio 4, 15 Minutes of Misery, which he later expanded into 15 Storeys High.

Co-stars: Jason, who was a team captain on 8 Out Of 10 Cats with Sean for six seasons (pictured with host Jimmy Carr)

The show was set in a tower block and centred on a pessimistic character called Vince ( played by Lock ) and his flatmate Errol, played by Benedict Wong.

Between 2006 and 2007 he hosted the Channel 4 series TV Heaven, Telly Hell, in which he invited celebrities to share their own selection of TV's triumphs and tragedies.

Father-of-three Lock, who had two daughters and one son with his wife Anoushka, appeared on Have I Got News for You, QI, and They Think It's All Over- and also wrote and starred in the popular BBC sitcom 15 Storeys High.

in 2000 he won the gong for the best standup at the british comedy awards.

He was best known for panel shows 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Picture: Channel 4)

Lock appeared in a number of Channel 4 shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats and its spin-off, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as TV Heaven, Telly Hell.

He wrote on Twitter :' I idolised Sean as a comic long before I became a comedian myself and ten years working alongside him didn't diminish that in the least.

An incredible comic brain and a truly unique voice. ’ He added :' I'm devastated for his family today and sad for comedy that we have lost one of the very best.

Farewell Sean, you brought a wonderful comedic talent to the world and you will be missed. ’ Lock was known for his surreal content and deadpan style and also appeared on QI, The Last Leg, Have I Got News for You, and The Big Fat Quiz of the Year.

Lock’s co-star Jon shared a heartfelt tribute (Picture: Channel Four)

In a tribute today, Baddiel called Sean Lock 'one of the funniest men I ever knew '.

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