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Jonathan Cheban leads tributes to David Gest

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Jonathan Cheban leads tributes to David Gest

Jonathan Cheban has led the tributes to David Gest following his sudden death on Tuesday (12.04.16).

The US star - who regularly appears on best pal Kim Kardashian West's reality TV show 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' - co-starred on 'Celebrity Big Brother' with David and remembers him fondly.

Speaking just hours after David was found dead in a London hotel room, Jonathan told Daily Mail Online: "He was like a cartoon and kept us up all night laughing.

"It got to the point when if he was walking in or we saw him we would start hysterical laughing because he's so funny. He had a little wobble when he walked and always wore these long black coats. He was a true entertainer."

Jonathan also referenced David's health and said the 62-year-old producer was unwell during his stint on the reality TV show.

He said: "He was ill most of the time on CBB and coughing non stop... We used to beg him to stop smoking those cigarettes but he loved to go outside and smoke and laugh with everyone.

"I used to torture him about Liza all the time... He wouldn't say a word but it was fun to try and get a reaction out of him. He was a wonderful person and will be truly missed."

Announcing the death, David's friend Imad Handi said in a statement: "David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon.

"I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners.

"If I may steal the words of one eminent critic, David was a natural star and a genuine celebrity. I will miss him desperately."

Actress Denise Welch, mother of The 1975 frontman Matt Healy, took to Twitter to write: "So shocked and sad to hear that our friend David Gest has died. Hasn't quite sunk in xxx (sic)."

A number of UK actors also shared their sadness on social media, with Jamie Lomas writing: "So sad to hear the news about David Gest, I was lucky enough to get to know you, a wonderful fun and generous human being, RIP my friend X (sic)" and Les Dennis adding: "David Gest was a talented producer ,witty man and someone I was proud to call my friend. Shocked to hear of his death (sic)."

Busted's Matt Bourne tweeted: "Shocked and very sad to hear about David Gest. A good friend and so many great memories (sic)" while 'Celebrity Big Brother' co-stars including Gemma Collins, Stephanie Davis, Megan McKenna and Scotty T all shared their sadness on Twitter.

David was the producer behind 2001's 'Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special' and married Liza Minnelli in 2002 before they split less than 18 months later.

His sudden death comes just three months before he was due to kick off his UK tour of his show 'David Gest Is Not Dead But Alive With Soul', due to start in York in July.