Rylan Clark-Neal was at Big Brother studios when news of David Gest's death broke

Published Wednesday, Apr 13 2016, 11:02 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Rylan Clark-Neal paid tribute to David Gest on today's This Morning, saying he'd been at the Big Brother studios when news of the former housemate's death broke.

The Big Brother's Bit On The Side host revealed he'd been at the show's headquarters for planning meetings when it was announced that David had been found dead at an East London hotel on Tuesday, 12 April.

He was 62 years old.

Rylan Clark on Celebrity Big Brother's Bit On The Side. Broadcast on Channel 5 HD - 12 January 2016.

© Channel 5 / Supplied by WENN

David Gest - 	Celebrity Big Brother's Bit On The Side - 26 January 2016.

© Channel 5 / Supplied by WENN

Rylan said: "I was at Big Brother yesterday which is really strange. I went in for a planning meeting and news broke when we were there. Everyone was so... especially after that misunderstanding with Tiffany and Angie Bowie. It's just so sad."

That was a reference to the most-talked about part of the last Celebrity Big Brother series, when housemate Tiffany Pollard had a meltdown when she mistakenly thought David Gest had died. In fact, it was Angie's ex-husband David Bowie who had passed at the time.

"62 is so young," continued Rylan.

"During the show he wasn't well and he did have to quit CBB unfortunately due to medical reasons. One of the things I think really came out of that series was the rest of the housemates and how accommodating they were of David. He wasn't too well and decided to leave and they were so supportive towards him."

Many of those housemates have paid tribute to David on Twitter, expressing their shock and sadness that he had passed away just a few months after appearing on the Channel 5 show.

David's death was confirmed by his friend and former bodyguard Imad Handi, who said yesterday: "It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today. David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon.

"I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners. If I may steal the words of one eminent critic, David was a natural star and a genuine celebrity. I will miss him desperately."