john mccririck

Horse racing pundit John McCririck dies aged 79

Sad day for horse racing fans!

Sharnaz Shahid

Horse racing broadcaster John McCririck has died aged 79, his family have confirmed. The former Celebrity Big Brother star, who has been dogged by health issues in recent years, is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jenny. In a post on Twitter, the Racing Post announced: "Sad to report that legendary racing broadcaster John McCririck has died at the age of 79. McCririck was the face of Channel 4 Racing, and one of the sport's most recognisable figures. He was also an award-winning journalist for The Sporting Life."

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John McCririck shocked fans with his weight loss on Channel 5 last year

John was famous for his outlandish dress sense and was an integral part of racing coverage on Channel 4. He left the broadcaster after 28 years when they dropped him in 2012, prompting the presenter to launch an unsuccessful age-discrimination case. Then in October, John stunned fans with his gaunt appearance when he appeared on Big Brother's Bit on the Side. The pundit - who has suffered chest problems - explained he suffered a bout of severe flu. "I had terrible flu and it really got to my legs and voice - it was awful," he said last year. "It's hard to recover from and I'm not fully fit. But I'm Cheltenham-bound and we're booked in for all four days."

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In June 2018, John revealed he had shed the weight by reducing his portion sizes and cutting potatoes out of his diet. The racing pundit said he had decided to take action after his weight reached 19 stone. Speaking to The Sun, John explained he had begun eating healthily, cutting out chips, cakes and puddings, along with roast potatoes.

He also blamed his illness on the stress of being axed from Channel 4 Racing. "Life is empty," he told Daily Mail. "I don't expect to be alive this time next year. It's a question of slipping away. I've prepared the Booby [his wife, Jenny] for it. When I'm gone she knows exactly what to do and she'll be fine."

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