Popular British stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died. According to a BBC report, the comic died on stage on Thursday evening during a set at the Lone Wolf Comedy Club in The Atic bar in Bicester. After sitting back in a chair on stage for nearly five minutes, the audience thought that it was part of the act and continued to laugh. South Central Ambulance Service confirmed that Ian was pronounced dead at the scene. Ian had been performing since the mid-1980s, and was a well-respected act on the comedy circuit. He won the won the Time Out Award for stand-up comedy in 1999.
Celebrity fans have paid tribute to Ian, with 8 Out Of 10 Cats host Jimmy Carr writing: "Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage - literally. The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was." Fellow comedian Rufus Hound added: "We have lost one of the greats." And author Shappi Khorsandi wrote: "Such a sad shock. Ian Cognito has died. One of the people who made this job brilliant from the very beginning has gone. I got so excited to be on bills with him and watch him work and have a beer after. And those eyes! Those beautiful eyes. Much love to all friends and family xx."
More fans shared their condolences, with one tweeting: "So shocked to hear about the passing of Ian Cognito a comedian revered by so many other comics. Unpredictable and brilliant. The world has lost an amazing comedian." Another said: "A sad day for comics today. The great Ian Cognito passed away last night. All of us Bristol and West Comics were very lucky to have him living in this part of the world. One the most charismatic performers and men (most of the time) I ever met."