The stars of Strictly Come Dancing are coming to terms with the sudden death of hair designer Neale Pirie. Celebrity stylist Neale, 42, had been due to start work on his fifth series of Strictly next month, and his untimely passing has prompted an outpouring of tributes from colleagues and famous clients.According to reports, Neale had phoned relatives complaining of chest pains on Saturday – but by the time paramedics arrived at his Leicester home, they were unable to revive him.
The Strictly team are devastated by the sudden death of Neale Pirie
On Sunday evening, celebrities took to Twitter to remember Neale, who also worked on The Voice and Bond movie Skyfall, and had a number of well-known clients, including Abbey Clancy.Ant McPartlin's makeup artist wife Lisa Armstrong, who worked alongside Neale on Strictly, was among the first to pay tribute. "Utterly devastated and heartbroken over the loss of my side kick and dear friend @Nealepirie such a talent and inspiration! We love you RIP," she wrote.
Her thoughts were echoed by a host of Strictly stars, including Aljaz Skorjanec, Ola Jordan, James Jordan, Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer.Devastated Karen, who had her wedding hair styled by Neale just last month, wrote: "Absolutely heartbroken at the loss of our beautiful friend @Nealepirie. I cant believe you're gone.. RIP."
Ola tweeted: "Heartbroken to hear that our friend @Nealepirie has passed away, We loved you so much. You will be missed RIP xxx."Celebrity dancers also expressed their condolences. Denise Van Outen wrote: "Very sad to hear @Nealepirie has been taken by the Angels. My thoughts are with his family & his closest friends @bbcstrictly." Sunetra Sarker added: "A remarkable talent & darling friend. @Nealepirie you will forever be remembered as a true rock of support. Devastating news. RIP sweetheart."
Jake Wood wrote: "Taken too soon, RIP @Nealepirie Genuinely great guy and immensely talented, my thoughts are with his friends and family." Host Tess Daly tweeted: "In shock just heard the devastating news that Strictly's hair guru @Nealepirie has passed away. My heart goes out to his family and friends."Neale's agent Sarah Barnfield told the Mirror: "He was incredibly funny, intelligent and amazingly talented. He'd brighten up every room and we will all miss him dearly."
A Strictly spokesperson added: "The entire team is devastated. Neale was exceptionally talented, always creating the most amazing hairstyles."Neale was a wonderful person, a much loved member of the team and was adored by dancers, celebrities and everyone else who worked on the show. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."