John McCririck dead: Celebrity Big Brother star and presenter dies aged 79

Legendary racing presenter and Celebrity Big Brother star John McCririck has died at the age of 79, it has been confirmed.

His death was announced by Racing Post, who tweeted: “Sad to report that legendary racing broadcaster John McCririck has died at the age of 79.”

His close friend Roger Easterby paid tribute, telling the publication: “John was often referred to as being like Marmite, but I believe people genuinely liked him. He was kind, generous and knew his subject inside out.”

He made a chilling prediction about his own death just last year, suggesting he had just months to live following a dramatic weight loss.

He told the Daily Mail: “Life is empty. I don't expect to be alive this time next year. It's a question of slipping away.

“Racing was my life but now when I go I think: 'What am I doing here?' I feel like a dinosaur. You're a lost soul wandering around an environment you're no longer part of.”

John also revealed that he has prepared his wife Jenny — who he lovingly referred to as “Booby” for his death.

“When I'm gone she knows exactly what to do and she'll be fine,” he continued to tell the publication.

John battled a severe case of the flu at Christmas time, shocking fans with his gaunt appearance when he made his return to screens.

He lost over three stone in weight and was unable to speak for three months after battling the illness.

Speaking after his battle, he said: “I’m not well. When you’re 78 you’re never going to fully recover. I don’t expect to.

“I say to everybody, set yourself a target. If you’re not well, you're ill, set yourself a target that you will reach in 3-6 months time.“

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