Entertainer, producer and reality TV star David Gest dies aged 62
Entertainer, producer and reality television personality David Gest has been found dead at a London hotel.
It is thought that Gest died at the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf this morning (12 April). The star’s friend and former bodyguard Imad Handi released a statement confirming his death at the age of 62.
“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.” – Imad Handi
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at 10:17am on Tuesday 12 April to the Four Seasons hotel, in Westferry Circus, E14, to reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s. London Ambulance Service were called to the scene. Life was pronounced extinct at the hotel. A post-mortem will be held in due course. Next of kin are in the process of being informed.”
Trailers and promotions have over the past month been promoting a music tour entitled David Gest Is Not Dead, But Alive With Soul, playing on a mis-understanding from earlier this year when while David was part of the winter Celebrity Big Brother series on Channel 5 stateside reality star Tiffany Pollard mistakenly believed Gest had died rather than singer David Bowie.
The Gest music tour, due to begin on the 1st of July, saw the music mogul present acts such as Dina Carroll, the original lead singer of the Stylistics, Russell Thompkins Jr, Deniece Williams, Billy Paul, Peabo Bryson, The Tymes, Freda Payne, Melba Moore, Anita Ward and Fern Kinney. Trailers featuring Gest announcing he wasn’t dead but alive with soul have been pulled from radio stations such as Smooth Radio following the announcement of Gests demise.
David Gest was never shy about his showbiz connections and could, on anyone’s interview sofa, tell stories of great times with many star names however he is possibly best known for being the ex-husband of actress and singer Liza Minnelli and a friend of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson. While a successful music executive and personality in America it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that he became a popular personality in the UK, making his first major television appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2006. He came fourth with Matt Willis winning the series, his new found UK fandom saw ITV launch a fly-on-the-wall series This Is David Gest in 2007. He starred in the winter run of Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year however quit the show due to ‘ill health’. Non reality roles saw Gest as a judge on talent shows Grease is the Word and Soapstar Superstar.
“Heaven has gained another angel & our sky a bright night star. Love you dearly my friend & I will miss you very much.” – Celebrity Big Brother co-star and actress Danniella Westbrook (@westbrookdanni)
“Just seen the news.I am choked. We had the best time on @imacelebrity together. He was funny, generous, and a good friend.
#RIPDavidGest” – I’m A Celebrity co-star Toby Anstis (@tobyanstis)
David Gest was born on May 11th, 1953 in Los Angeles, California, USA as David Alan Gest and died on the 12th of April 2016 in London, UK.