Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes has died suddenly at the age of 59 last night, according to reports.
The MasterChef star, who became known for his gelled spiky hair, is believed to have died in Dubai.
Rhodes, who has two children, died with his beloved wife Jennie by his side.
His heartbroken family said in a statement:
The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE.
Gary passed away last evening at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Jennie by his side.
The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time.
Tributes have already begun pouring in for the star, with chef Daniel Clifford writing on social media:
Rest in peace. A true British classic Gary Rhodes, you open the door for so many young English cooks.
Simon Hulstone added:
Very sad to get a message this morning from Dubai informing me of the brilliant Chef and mentor Gary Rhodes passing last night.
What a shining star for British gastronomy. Rest well Chef.
The chef became a household name in the 1990s after appearing on MasterChef in both the UK and US, Hell’s Kitchen and fronting his own cooking programmes.
He earned a record five Michelin Stars during his career and was known for his love of British cuisine.
In 2008 he went on to appear on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, but found himself the third celebrity to be voted off by judges.
A source told The Sun:
I believe it’s come as a shock. He had been living and working out there recently and was enjoying life.
Things were great. He was happy and life was good. What’s happened is devastating for his family.
He’s married with two children and the death has hit them hard.
Rest in peace.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.