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Top comedian Ewen Gilmour dies

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/10/2014
Award-winning comedian Ewen Gilmour has died. © Award-winning comedian Ewen Gilmour has died.

Kiwi comedian Ewen Gilmour has died suddenly in his sleep only hours after filming a television comedy special.

The comedian - known as Ewen "The Westie" Gilmour - died at his Port Waikato home overnight on Thursday aged 51, his agent Hilary Coe told NZ Newswire.

Police spokeswoman Kim Mathews said Gilmour's death wasn't suspicious and had been referred to the coroner.

Gilmour had been at TV3's Auckland studios on Thursday night filming a comedy special which has no on-air date at this point, MediaWorks said in a statement.

MediaWorks' head of local production, John McDonald, said Gilmour was mischievous, intelligent and warm-hearted.

"He set the standard for many of our young comedians to aspire to, with a knack for telling a wonderful, crazy, circular story that had fantastic gags all the way round. He'll be hugely missed."

Fellow comedians, entertainers, and even the Prime Minister John Key went on Twitter to remember Gilmour, who first hit the comedy scene in the mid-1990s, and won the inaugural Billy T Award in 1997.

Director Taika Waititi wrote: "A true sweetheart and one of the originals from when we all first started out in comedy. Safe travels funny westie brother."

"RIP the great Ewen Gilmour. If you own a V8 I hope you rev the f**k out of it today. Let him here [sic] you," tweeted comedian Rhys Darby.

"I still remember our first gig together in 1994 man was too funny. Gone to [sic] soon rest easy brother," comedian Mike King tweeted.

Gilmour featured on a range of TV programmes, including Dancing with the Stars, Celebrity Treasure Island, Pulp Comedy and 7 Days.

He served as a Waitakere City Councillor from 2003-2007 and had earlier been declared a "cultural ambassador" for Waitakere.

Gilmour was also a marriage celebrant and self-confessed petrolhead, owning two cars and five motorbikes.

His wife died in 2011 from brain cancer.

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