June Bernicoff, best known as a cast member on the Channel 4 series Gogglebox, has died at the age of 82.
Bernicoff appeared on the hit series – in which members of the public commentate on television programmes from their living rooms – alongside her husband Leon, who died in 2017.
Tania Alexander, the programme’s executive producer, said on Twitter: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Gogglebox’s much-loved June Bernicoff passed away at the age of 82 on 5 May at home with her family after a short illness.
“As the first couple to be cast for Gogglebox back in 2013, June and her husband Leon were a huge part of the programme’s success. Their warmth, wit and contrasting personalities endeared them to the nation over the course of the first 10 series.”
Alexander added that Bernicoff’s death was not connected to Covid-19, and that she had been treated at a hospice.
Following Leon’s death, Bernicoff wrote two books about the couple’s life, Forever Sweethearts, and Leon and June: Our Story, and continued to make media appearances, though she did not return to Gogglebox. Speaking to Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2 last year, she said Leon had insisting on filming their final episode together despite his illness.
The couple met in 1955 at a teacher training college and were married for 57 years, raising their family in Liverpool. Tweeting in December, Bernicoff said she was “reluctantly leaving” Liverpool after 62 years, to move closer to family.
Alexander described Bernicoff as a “remarkably independent, principled woman with a vivacious sense of humour and a huge passion for life”, adding that she had remained in “regular contact” with the production team.
She is survived by her daughters, Helen and Julie, and their respective families.