The late Ian Royce was lent a helping hand by close pals Ant & Dec during his rehab stint last year.
Earlier today, Ian’s daughter Roxanne issued a statement announcing that her dad had died at the age of 51 from “severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure.”
Roxanne added that he was surrounded by loved ones when he died, Ant & Dec leading celebrity tributes to the comedian.
Ian had struck up a rapport with the Geordie duo as a warm-up act for Britain’s Got Talent.
In September last year, he penned a heartfelt tweet after they, among other famous mates, stepped in to help pay for his rehab.
Ian – nicknamed “Roycey” – wrote: “I am so grateful to so many for saving my life….. Thank you so much everyone and my amazing girlfriend xx @SimonCowell @antanddec @robbiewilliams @ollyofficial thank you for a light…..”
Later that year, Ian provided more context to fans, opening up about his alcohol and sex addictions.
In a lengthy post, he told: “I just wanted to let you all know that my first 28 days of treatment, have come to an end and I will now be going abroad for the next 3 months to continue my treatment and really work on me and issues that have been buried deep for 40 years.
“As well as my alcohol addiction I have also surrendered to my sex and love addictions stemming from my past which have affected my relationships greatly.
“I am committed to working on all of the above to be a better person to me and to others.
“I have f**ked up big time in many areas of my life and I want to apologize to everyone who was caught up in my ‘madness.’
“I want to thank everyone who has stood by me, supported me – financially and emotionally. I know this is my last chance at life having been near death more than once.”
Roycey added: “I will be off social media for this duration,” he continued, “and I am looking forward to bringing home a new Ian for 2020 who will be true, honest and committed to staying well. So I am wishing you all love and happiness (and a happy Christmas and New Year!!).
“And a massive thank you to again to everyone who is making this happen (no name dropping!). The support has been incredible and I am so so grateful to everyone from the bottom of my heart. Until 2020. Ian xx.”
Earlier this year, Ian sparked concern when he shared a photograph of empty medication bottles.
He wrote to fans to thank them for showing such concern for his wellbeing, detailing his spiralling depression.
Since his death, daughter Roxanne has been flooded with messages of condolence and support.
Ant & Dec, Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden, Ben Shephard, Rylan Clark-Neil, Aled Jones and Myleene Klass are just some of the names to have paid tribute to Roycey.
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] if you’d prefer to write down how you feel. You are not alone.