The 62-year-old, whose body was found at the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Wharf on Tuesday morning. Gest was about to embark on a nationwide theatre tour in Britain called ‘David Gest Is Not Dead But Alive With Soul’ – based on a misunderstanding on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year in which other housemates thought he had passed away. Click to read more
He had struggled with health problems in recent years, leading to an early exit from CBB, and last month said he had turned his back on America and would not return.
He said: ‘I will never go back to LA; I will die here and want to be buried in York. I love this country much more than my own’.
In 2012, Gest was diagnosed with a tumour in his neck. The then-59-year-old star found the growth and after seeking medical advice he was told by his doctor that the lump had to be removed as soon as possible. At the time Memphis otolaryngologist Neal Beckford said he expected Gest to make a full recovery by mid-January 2013.
Confirming his death, Mr Handi added: ‘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.’
Gest’s Celebrity Big Brother co-star Jonathan Cheban paid tribute as he told Daily Mail Online ‘he was like a cartoon’ and ‘kept us up all night laughing’.