British comedian and actor Jeremy Hardy has died of cancer at the age of 57, his publicist said on Friday.
Hardy was a regular on television and radio panel shows from the early 1990s, appearing on British comedy programs including “Mock the Week” and “QI.”
He was also a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4 shows “The News Quiz” and “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.” The station tweeted on Friday that he was “one of the funniest people around.”
“Friends and family of comedian Jeremy Hardy are immensely sad to announce that Jeremy died of cancer, early on Friday 1st February,” his publicist said in a statement.
“He was with his wife and daughter as he died.”
Hardy was born in Hampshire in 1961 and began his comedy career in the 1980s.
In 1996, he paired with comedian Jack Dee to write “Jack and Jeremy’s Real Lives,” a six-part comedy program that aired on Britain’s Channel 4.
“Jeremy Hardy was ground-breakingly brilliant, off the register funny, compassionate and caring. So privileged to have counted him as a dear friend,” Dee wrote on Twitter.
Television presenter Richard Osman added: “I was very lucky to work with Jeremy Hardy early in my career. Every day was a masterclass, a privilege. He was so naturally and brilliantly funny, and a man who chose to use his comedy to change the world, rather than to fill stadia.”
Hardy was known for his left-wing politics, which played a prominent role in much of his material.
He campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn when the then-backbench MP ran for leadership of the Labour Party in 2015, and Corbyn paid tribute to the comedian on Twitter after news of his death broke.
“Jeremy Hardy was a dear, lifelong friend. He always gave his all for everyone else and the campaigns for social justice. You made us all smile. You made us all think. Rest in peace, Jeremy,” Corbyn wrote.
Corbyn was joined by Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who wrote that “whenever the call for solidarity went out, Jeremy courageously supported campaigns for social justice.”
And left-wing journalist Owen Jones added: “Utterly devastated to hear of Jeremy Hardy’s death. He was such a wonderful guy, hilarious, full of humanity and heart, committed to fighting for a world without injustice. Just a lovely bloke.”
The statement from Hardy’s publicist added that he “retained to the end the principles that guided his life; trying to make the world more humane, and to be wonderfully funny.”
“He will be enormously missed by so many, who were inspired by him and who laughed with him.”