Sean Lock dead: who was the 8 Out of 10 Cats comedian, how old was he and how did he die?

Popular English comedian Sean Lock, known for his appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats and 15 Storeys High, passed away on 18 August 2021.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 2:57 pm
Sean Lock dead: who was the 8 Out of 10 Cats comedian, how old was he and how did he die? (Image credit: Yui Mok/JPIMedia)

News of Sean Lock’s death has left fans of the dry, deadpan British comedian shocked and saddened by his sudden passing today (18 August).

Lock was a team captain on the Channel 4 comedy panel show led by Jimmy Carr, 8 Out of 10 Cats.

He also regularly appeared on comedy panel shows like QI, Would I Lie to You?, 8 Out of 10 Cats does Countdown and Mock the Week.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A writer and actor on British sitcom, 15 Storeys High, Lock’s career was littered with a variety of comedy performances – with fellow comedians and TV stars paying tribute to the comedian on hearing of his death today.

Here’s everything you need to know about Sean Lock and his sudden death.

Who was Sean Lock and how old was he?

Born in the village of Chertsey, near Woking in Surrey, England on 22 April 1963, Lock was 58-years-old when he died on 18 August.

Before embarking on a career in comedy, Lock worked as a labourer on building sites in his local area.

He went on to work with David Baddiel and Rob Newman, supporting the two on tour and making his debut on television in Pieces.

In 2000, Lock’s Fringe comedy show, No Flatley, I am Lord of the Dance, was nominated for the Perrier comedy award.

Lock worked as a script editor on Bill Bailey’s BBC Two series, Is It Bill Bailey?, before transforming his radio show, 15 Minutes of Misery, into acclaimed British sitcom 15 Storeys High.

The sitcom debuted on BBC Radio Four before becoming a TV series broadcast on BBC Two for two series.

The comedy star has featured on Channel Four’s 8 Out of 10 Cats since 2005 and was a popular team captain on the show.

In 2013, Lock told Scottish independent culture magazine The Skinny that he saw himself as “less of a stand-up, more as a comedian.”

He added: “The only way to do this job well is to do stuff you want to do, and that’s up to you.

"I’m nearly 50 and I know who I am.

"I don’t have to worry about what kind of image I want to put across, I just do what I want to do and it seems to work.”

Who is Anoushka Nara Giltsoff?

Anoushka Nara Giltsoff is Sean Lock’s wife.

Aged 48, she and Lock have three children together – with two daughters born in 2004 and 2006 respectively and one son born in 2009.

Lock has long kept his family out of the public eye, but in past TV appearances praised his wife’s dedication to the household and keeping their children safe from stronger UV rays in warmer weather.

How did Sean Lock die?

Sean Lock died on 18 August following a battle with skin cancer, which he was first diagnosed with in 1990.

The star has battled the disease for the last 30 years, identifying it as developing during his stint as a labourer in the 1980s.

His death was announced by his agent, Off the Kerb Productions, who said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sean Lock. He died at home from cancer, surrounded by his family.

“Sean was one of Britain’s finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.

“Sean was also a cherished husband and father to three children. Sean will be sorely missed by all that knew him. We kindly request that the privacy of his family and children is respected at this difficult time.”

How have British comedians responded to Sean Lock’s death?

Comedian Bill Bailey, who appeared with Lock on comedy panel shows on several occasions as well as his own show, Is it Bill Bailey?, tweeted: "It’s heartbreaking to lose my dearest friend Sean Lock , he was a true original, a wonderful comic.

“All my thoughts are with his family.”

Scottish comedy star Janey Godley also wrote on Twitter to commemorate the star.

“Sean Lock off stage, sitting telling you a story that will make you laugh so hard it hurts your kidneys, is the best experience anyone can have,” she said.

Godley’s words were echoed by Glaswegian comic Kevin Bridges, who described the star as “one of the soundest guys in comedy”:

"Sean Lock; A brilliant comedian, obviously, but just a genuinely hilarious guy too and one of the soundest guys in comedy, from when I first started to when we last had a laugh together. Very sad news.”

8 Out of 10 Cats host and comedian Jimmy Carr called the news “brutal” in his own tweet on Wednesday.

"Brutal news about Sean Lock today,” Carr said.

“I loved him.

"I’m watching clips of him right now - laughing & crying. I’ll miss him so much.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.