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Dublin: 21 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

'We've lost one of the greats': Comedians pay tribute to Ian Cognito after the stand-up dies on stage

The 60-year-old fell ill while performing in Oxfordshire.

COMEDIANS HAVE BEEN paying tribute to stand-up Ian Cognito who died on stage during a gig in Oxfordshire last night. 

The 60-year-old is believed to have not felt well before the show at The Atic bar in Bicester. 

The show’s organiser, Andrew Bird, told the BBC that during the show when Cognito sat down and fell silent, everyone in the crowd thought he was joking.

Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking. Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say ‘boo’.

The comedian was pronounced dead when emergency services arrived. 

Cognito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, never achieved mainstream success but was highly regarded by fellow comedians who paid tribute to him after news broke earlier today. 

Tweeting about Cognito’s onstage death, Jimmy Carr said it was a “commitment to comedy”. 

Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage – literally. The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was.

Matt Lucas, star of Little Britain, said he was in shock following the news of Cognito’s sudden passing. 

“He was always kind to me when I started out, and brilliant and provocative and entirely original onstage. What a loss,” Lucas tweeted. 

Rufus Hound said on Twitter “we have lost one of the greats”. 

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Adam Daly

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