Liver cirrhosis kills Irish comedian Sean Hughes

Irish stand up-comedian Sean Hughes has died aged 51.

Hughes became one of the youngest ever winners of the prestigious Perrier comedy award in 1990. He was best known for being a team captain on the long-running BBC music quiz show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He also made several appearances as an actor later on in his career and starred in his own sitcom Sean’s Show.

On 8th October, Hughes tweeted that he was in hospital. It is believed that he was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver.

His management company, RBM Comedy, confirmed his passing on Twitter, stating that: “Very sad news. Early this AM, the master of comedy Sean Hughes past away. A comic very much ahead of his time.”

Liver cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by long-term damage. The damage is often caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

In an article published in the Irish Times in 2014, Hughes wrote about how his friends became “uncomfortable” when he stopped drinking after it made them “question their own habits”.

He wrote: “What is it about the Irish and boozing? Does it come from our grand tradition of needing to speak with a drink in our hand? Maybe it comes from the fact that alcohol was put out of our reach when we were kids. We all want what we can’t have.”

Earlier this year, Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Communications and Policy at the British Liver Trust said: “Across the UK we are facing a liver disease crisis. People are dying of liver damage younger and younger, with the average age of death now being mid-fifties. It is also becoming more and more common for liver units to have much younger individuals waiting for a liver transplant or dying on the wards.”

Fellow comedians and writers have since paid tribute to Hughes.

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