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Piers Morgan pays emotional tribute to Britain's Got Talent star after sad death

The presenter responded to the news on Wednesday's Good Morning Britain

Francesca Shillcock

Piers Morgan paid an emotional tribute to his former colleague, Ian 'Roycey' Royce on Wednesday morning after it was announced the comedian and Britain's Got Talent audience warm-up act had passed away at the age of 51.

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The Good Morning Britain presenter took the opportunity to say a few words during Wednesday's episode, detailing his 14 year-long working and personal relationship with Ian, who worked with Piers for his interview series Life Stories as well as Britain's Got Talent.

"[Ian] was the most famous person you may not have heard of, he was famous to the industry," Piers began, adding: "He was the best, funniest, warm up guy, no disrespect to the others [...] He was the best I ever worked with."

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Ian 'Roycey' Royce passed away earlier this week

The former BGT judge added: "We had so many laughs. [He was a] rather complex guy in many ways. He had a lot of demons, but he had a zest for life. He was a hilariously funny guy, and he also had a great love for his daughter, Roxanne, who let me know yesterday, and my thoughts are with her in particular."

Piers finished by saying: "Always made me laugh, he'll be greatly missed by everybody in this business. I'll greatly miss him, love to all his family and friends and Royce, thanks for the laughs mate and we'll miss you."

Ant and Dec also paid tribute to the comedian

The news was shared on the comedian's Twitter page in a statement that read: "It is with our greatest regret that we have to tell you all that Ian has passed away today from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure. He was in no pain and was surrounded by friends and family. He put up a good fight but is in a better place now."

Fellow BGT stars Ant and Dec also responded to the sad news. Posting on Twitter, they wrote: " Ant and Dec said that they would "never forget" Ian, in a tweet that read: "We are sorry to hear of the passing of Ian ‘Roycey’ Royce. (@officialroycey) He was an integral part of the #BGT team for many years. Our thoughts are with his beloved Roxy and all his family. RIP Roycey. We’ll never forget you."

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