‘W1A’ star Alex Beckett has died at the age of 36.
The actor was best known for his role as Barney Lumsden in the BBC sitcom and its predecessor ‘Twenty Twelve’.
Alex’s acting agent Gavin Denton-Jones confirmed the news in a statement issued through the Donmar Warehouse theatre.
“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Alex – a wonderful man and a hugely talented actor,” he said.
“Our thoughts are with his family and we kindly ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”
Alex’s cause of death is not yet known.
He was performing in a production of ‘The Way Of The World’ at the Donmar prior to his death, with the run due to continue until 26 May. However, the remaining shows this week have been cancelled as a mark of respect.
A Donmar spokesperson said: “We are deeply shocked by the tragic loss of our dear friend and brilliant actor Alex Beckett, a much-loved member of ‘The Way Of The World’ company. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends at this incredibly sad time.
“Everyone at the Donmar and ‘The Way Of The World’ company are completely devastated by this terribly sad news.
“We have taken the decision to cancel the remaining performances this week, as a mark of respect to Alex, and to give some time to the company, who all loved Alex as a fellow actor, and a friend.”
Jessica Hynes, who played Barney’s boss Siobhan Sharpe on ‘W1A’, was among the first to pay tribute.
She tweeted: “Alex Beckett was a wonderful, clever, kind, brilliant person – so glad to have known him, so sad he is gone.”
Fellow star Rufus Jones, aka David Wilkes on the show, also wrote: “Just hearing this awful news about Alex Beckett. He was such a warm-hearted and funny, funny guy. W1A felt like a big family and he was a face you couldn’t wait to see. My thoughts with his family.”
John Morton, the writer, director and creator of ‘W1A ‘and ‘Twenty Twelve’ said: “He was always so funny, so full of life, so full of generosity, a pleasure to see every day. All of us involved in ‘W1A’ and in ‘Twenty Twelve’ before that were lucky to know him, lucky to work with him, and his loss is desperately sad.”
Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, also said in a statement issued to HuffPost UK: “We’re all incredibly crushed to hear of Alex’s untimely death. He was a very prolific, versatile and much admired comedy star whose role as Barney Lumsden in both ‘Twenty Twelve’ and ‘W1A’ was a key ingredient of their success.
“We think of him fondly and our hearts go out to his family and friends at this painfully sad time.”
Alex’s other TV credits included ‘The End Of The F***ing World’ and ‘A Touch Of Cloth’, while he had also worked extensively in the theatre, starring in a 2013 production of ‘Edward II’ at the National Theatre.