The stand-up comedian and former Absolute Radio co-host, presented alongside Frank Skinner, was involved in a “terrible” car accident on the M25 on Monday 27 March.
Richards had been in hospital since after sustaining “serious brain injuries” in the accident, with Skinner emotionally telling listeners on his radio show last week (1 April) that things were “not looking great” for Richards.
On Saturday (8 April), Richards’ wife Laura announced that Gareth died on Friday (7 April).
Explaining that it was “a miracle that he arrived at the hospital alive”, she wrote: “Since then, the doctors and nurses have been incredible and have kept him in a stable and sedated condition. However, the latest scan revealed that the extent of the damage was so severe that they would have to remove all of the supportive medications and allow him to be at peace.
“The boys are bearing up well... At the moment the grief is a lot to cope with. Thank you all for your support and kindness.”
Following the news, the comedy world paid tribute to Richards on social media.
“I’m so sad to hear about Gareth Richards,” tweeted Welsh comedian Elis James. “We started comedy at the same time and I was totally in awe of his talent, but more importantly I was always struck by how kind and gentle a man he was. Just a complete delight to be around. My thoughts are with his family.”
Mock the Week star Angela Barnes wrote: “The news we’ve all been dreading has come that @garethrichards has left us. He was so funny and, above all, so kind and gentle. Love and strength to his family and friends and his comedy family who are all reeling from this. Rest in peace Gareth.”
“Indescribably sad about Gareth Richards. It is an almost unique eulogy for a comedian that every single person they met says what a kind, sweet person they were. Rest in peace my friend,” commented This Is Going to Hurt author Adam Kay.
Stand-up comedian Darren Harriott remembered Richards as “one of the nicest guys you could ever meet”, adding: “Thoughts are with his family. It’s just so sad.”
“I’ve just seen the update on Gareth Richards,” comic Tiff Stevenson wrote. “He was funny, unique & a good dude. I have lots of nice memories of touring abroad together and watching him workshop new songs. Thinking of his family and his close ones right now. Many of them fellow comics. Devastating news.”
Fergus Craig tweeted: “@garethrichards was a lovely, funny man. Saw him do stand up for the first time in years just a few months ago and he was brilliant. Thinking of his family today.”
Sian Harries said that she and her husband Rhod Gilbert were “reeling” after the news, adding: “So bloody funny and so bloody kind. What a loss to comedy.”
“I was a fan of Gareth Richards before I met him and was so thrilled by how lovely and hilarious he was offstage as well as on,” wrote Rhys James. “A giant of joke writing. A pleasure to know and an honour to die on my a*** alongside at some real stinker network gigs back in the day. RIP.”
“So sad to hear that @garethrichards has passed away following his terrible car accident. He was a lovely man and a great comedian and I always looked forward to seeing him. A tragic loss. My thoughts are with his family. RIP,” tweeted Matt Green.
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