Actor Felix Dexter dies aged 52
Tributes were paid today to British comedian and actor Felix Dexter who has died of cancer, aged 52.
The St Kitts-born entertainer last night succumbed to multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer.
Close friend and radio presenter Eddie Nestor paid tribute to Dexter, saying he kept his sense of humour even in his final hours.
"It's quite weird, you're going to see somebody being diagnosed with a terminal illness and you find yourself laughing, really hard," he told BBC Radio's Up All Night programme.
" It was great to be able to spend some time with him.
"(I was) lying with somebody on their death bed and they're still making jokes."
Nestor said although Dexter was on pain medication, his mind was still sharp and he seemed "really upbeat".
"You try to hold it together when you're in there, but when you come out of that room, it's a different gig," he said.
Dexter' first came to prominence in the 1990s BBC series The Real McCoy.
He also starred in The Fast Show and Absolutely Fabulous.
The versatile comedian was the first black comic to get a regular slot at London's Comedy Store.
Colleagues, fans and friends have taken to social media to pay homage to the pioneering entertainer.
Actor David Morrissey said he had worked with Felix and was sad to hear the news. "Such a funny, talented and generous man," he tweeted.
Fellow comedian Sean Hughes wrote: "So so sad to hear about the truly wonderful Felix Dexter passing away. I hope you can feel the love in the comedy community fella. Rip."
Actor David Schneider remembered Felix's popular character Nathaniel the Accountant on The Real McCoy, which he was perhaps best known for. "Lovely, lovely guy," he posted. "And I think nothing on TV has ever made me laugh more than his Real McCoy Nigerian character."
Dexter was once named Time Out Comedian of The Year. He also performed a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company. More recently, Dexter featured in the BBC series Citizen Khan.
Before a career in entertainment, Dexter had studied law. "This legal background is extremely useful in his stand-up comedy career, enabling him to stun hecklers into silence with shouts of 'objection!'," his website read.
BBC's UK comedy production controller Mark Freeland said the comedy community had lost "a hugely popular, pioneering, naturally funny and thoroughly modest actor and comedian".
"The outpouring of affection today is testament to a lovely, gracious man, seemingly happy to be in the background, but effortlessly and deservedly very much in the comedy foreground," Mr Freeland said.
"Many performers will feel today as if they've lost a part of the family."