Comedian Mel Smith has died of a heart attack aged 60, his agent said on Saturday. The comic, known for Alas Smith and Jones and Not the Nine O'Clock News, was at his home in London when he died on Friday, his agent Michael Foster said.

In a statement to the Press Association on behalf of Smith's wife Pam, Mr Foster said: "Mel Smith, comedian and writer, died on Friday aged 60, from a heart attack at his home in north west London."

Griff Rhys Jones called his longtime comedy partner "a force for life" to everybody who met him, adding he was "a gentleman and a scholar, a gambler and a wit". Jones added: "We are all in a state of shock. We have lost a very, very dear friend."

mel smith

Mel Smith and his comedy partner Griff Rhys Jones

Tributes have been paid to the late star. Comedian and broadcaster Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter: "Terrible news about my old friend Mel Smith, dead today from a heart attack. Mel lived a full life, but was kind, funny & wonderful to know."

Author Kathy Lette wrote on the site: "R.I.P. Mel Smith. Sorry to bring sad and bad news, but apparently he died from heart attack in his sleep." Writer Irvine Welsh took to Twitter to write: "Sad to hear about the death of Mel Smith, who gave me loads of laughs."


Graham Linehan
Very sad to hear news of Mel Smith's death has been confirmed. He and Griff gave Arthur and I our break. Was always so kind & generous to us

Smith was described as having "extraordinary natural talent" by Peter Fincham, director of television at ITV. Fincham, who was the business partner of Smith and his comedy sideback Griff Rhys Jones at Talkback Productions as well as their agent, said: "Life was always exciting around Mel.

"He was my friend and business partner for many years and had extraordinary natural talent with the rare gift of wearing it lightly.
"Being funny came naturally to him, so much so that he never seemed to give it a second thought. Mel and Griff were one of the great comedy acts and it's hard to imagine that one of them is no longer with us."


Nicky Campbell
Great Mel Smith line. "I've got a terrible memory. And I'll tell you something else. I've got a terrible memory." . RIP.

Not the Nine O'Clock News producer John Lloyd told Sky News Smith was an "amazingly talented guy" but added that he had not been in good health. He said: "We did know he was ill. He's been ill for some time. So although it is the most awful news - I mean, it's a tragedy, it's a great loss not just as an amazingly talented guy in all sorts of areas but also as a friend - I think he was not in good shape, so in some ways we try and put a good spin on it by saying it's a relief for him."


Peter Serafinowicz
Very sad to hear about Mel Smith. He did something very kind for me early in my career even though he hardly knew me. Such a funny man.

Father Ted writer Graham Linehan said he and writing partner Arthur Mathews had been helped in their career by Smith, with their first sketches being broadcast on Alas Smith and Jones. He said on Twitter: "Very sad to hear news of Mel Smith's death has been confirmed. He and Griff gave Arthur and I our break. Was always so kind & generous to us."

Actor and comic Peter Serafinowicz also paid tribute on Twitter. He wrote: "Very sad to hear about Mel Smith. He did something very kind for me early in my career even though he hardly knew me. Such a funny man."

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  • Mel Smith death

    File photo dated 13/10/04 of comedian Mel Smith who has died from a heart attack at his home in north west London, his agent Michael Foster has said.

  • Mel Smith death

    File photo dated 19/10/10 of comedian Mel Smith (left) with his wife Pam. Mel Smith has died from a heart attack at his home in north west London, his agent Michael Foster has said.

  • Mel Smith death

    File photo dated 28/10/1998 of comedians Mel Smith (left) and Griff Rhys Jones on stage at the Prince's Trust comedy gala at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Smith has died from a heart attack at his home in north west London, his agent Michael Foster has said.

  • Mel Smith death

    File photo dated 13/10/1992 of comedians Mel Smith (right) and Griff Rhys Jones. Smith has died from a heart attack at his home in north west London, his agent Michael Foster has said.

  • Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones - "The Kiss" - '90 HQ

    One of the Top Ten comedy sketches of ALL TIME - due in no small part to Griff's expression when Mel PLANTS one on him!

  • Mel Smith death

    File photo dated 29/07/1997 of comedian Mel Smith (left) and Rowan Atkinson. Smith has died from a heart attack at his home in north west London, his agent Michael Foster has said.

  • Mel Smith death

    File photo dated 07/08/06 of comedian Mel Smith who has died from a heart attack at his home in north west London, his agent Michael Foster has said.

  • Mel Smith

    January 1987: British comedian Mel Smith announces the start of his new TV series, entitled 'The World According To Smith and Jones' and co-starring Griff Rhys-Jones. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Alas Smith & Jones

    British comedy duo Griff Rhys-Jones and Mel Smith announce the start of their new TV series entitled 'The World According To Smith and Jones'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Not The Nine O'Clock News - Gerald the gorilla

    From "The Best Of Not The Nine O'Clock News (Vol.1)"

  • Not The Nine O'Clock News

    British comedians (left to right) Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones with New Zealand-born comedian Pamela Stephenson in London, 20th October 1980. Together they write and star in the comedy sketch show 'Not the Nine O'Clock News'. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Comedy Quartet

    British comedians Mel Smith (left) and Gryff Rhys Jones (wearing Policeman's uniforms) with Scottish comedian Billy Connolly and his wife New Zealand born actress and comedienne Pamela Stephenson backstage at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium, London, 13th July 1985. Smith, Jones and Stephenson had previously worked together on the TV comedy programme 'Not The Nine O'Clock News'. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Not The Gold Disc

    2nd February 1983: Rowan Atkinson, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith and Pamela Stephenson from the television show 'Not the Nine O'Clock News' in Baker Street, London, with gold records given to them to mark the sales of 250,000 copies of their album 'Hedgehog Sandwich'. (Photo by Gary Stone/Central Press/Getty Images)

  • Summer With Monica

    Comedy actor and writer Mel Smith (centre) with poet Roger McGough and actress Alyson Spiro during rehearsals for the West End stage production of McGough's 'Summer With Monica', 17th December 1979. (Photo by Graham Morris/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Not The Nine O'Clock News

    British comedians (left to right) Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones with New Zealand-born comedian Pamela Stephenson (below), in London, 20th October 1980. Together they write and star in the comedy sketch show 'Not the Nine O'Clock News'. (Photo by Graham Turner/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • British Comics

    From left to right, the cream of British comedy - Stephen Fry, Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, Griff Rhys-Jones, Mel Smith and Rowan Atkinson, circa 1990. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • The Swedish Chemist's Shop

    "Not the 9 o'clock news" strikes again. Short and to the point... Mel Smith and Rowan Atkinson. "... ball or a-er-o-sol..." ;)

  • Colin's Sandwich - A Bit Whiffy

    The Treatment.