Gogglebox's Pete and Sophie Sandiford lead tributes to Andy Michael after his death at 61

GOGGLEBOX stars Pete and Sophie Sandiford today led tributes to Andrew Michael after he died aged 61.

Sophie, who appeared alongside the former hotelier and politician on the Channel 4 hit, shared the heartbreaking news of his death.

The 24-year-old wrote: "Rest in peace Andy 💫 💙" – a message that was retweeted by her older brother.

The sad post came just days after she and her co-stars paid tribute to another Gogglebox favourite after Mary Cook died aged 92.

Andrew's death was announced by Channel 4 and Gogglebox producers Studio Lambert today.

A statement read: "We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Gogglebox star Andy Michael at the age of 61 following a short illness.

"Andy passed away last weekend with his family by his side.

"Retired hotelier Andy, who brought much wit and insight to Gogglebox, was one of the show's original cast members, appearing in the very first episode in 2013.

"Beloved father to Katy, Alex, Pascal and Louis, and cherished husband of Carolyne, Andy was a much-loved and respected member of the Gogglebox family, and he will be very sadly missed.

"Our love and thoughts are with Carolyne and the entire family. The family have asked for privacy at this very sad time."

Andrew was a fan favourite, and routinely appeared on the sofa alongside son Louis, daughter Alex and wife Caroylne.

The Michael family first appeared on Gogglebox in the debut episode in 2013 but the following year announced that they were leaving because Andy was running for Ukip in the general election.

🔵 Read our Andy Michael blog for the latest updates on the Gogglebox's star's death

After he failed to secure the Hastings and Rye seat, they returned for future episodes with Andrew explaining he was quitting politics for his family.

He told The Sun: "I have a responsibility to keep my family happy after they supported me last autumn.

"That was a big deal for us. They supported me then, so it's my time to support them now.

"Now I have stepped down from my official position as prospective parliamentary candidate. I was happy to step down in order to pick up Gogglebox."

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