TV star Mr. Blobby has passed away, aged 42.
Blobby, real name Andrew Blobbenstein, was a major celebrity in the United Kingdom during the 1990s but faded away from the spotlight when his Saturday night show Noel's House Party was axed, and his second album Blobby Sings And Swings, featuring covers of Frank Sinatra songs, flopped in the charts. The cause of death is a suspected heart attack, brought on by a drug overdose.
Friends last night described how Blobby had struggled after fading from the limelight. Phil Reynolds, who had known Blobby since school, told how he turned to marijuana and later cocaine and heroin in a bid to compensate for the buzz he used to get from being on stage.
"At first, we noticed he was indulging in cannabis quite a lot, he always seemed to have a spliff on the go whenever we went to his house" said an emotional Phil. "But later on, his drug taking became a little more hardcore. He wouldn't do it in front of us, but we could all see the needlemarks in his arms. It's just such a sad state of affairs. He always said he would claw his way back onto TV. I guess that's never going to happen now". He sadly added, "He was such a good natured man. It's tragic."
Blobby's showbiz pals lined up last night to pay tribute to the former star. Close friend and drinking partner Noel Edmonds described Blobby as "the nicest guy you could want to meet. He had such a sharp mind. We're all going to miss him". Cilla Black, who reportedly dated Blobby in 2001, described him as "big hearted and hilarious. A lorra, lorra fun." And Blobby's flatmate, Phil Mitchell off EastEnders, said that "life without him is going to be tough. I don't know how I'm going to cope."
Blobby's funeral will take place next Saturday. He will receive a full military funeral, as he was once a soldier and served under James Blunt. Blunt is expected to perform an acoustic version of the hit song Blobby! at the wake. Family have requested that the funeral be a quiet affair, and only close friends and family will be able to attend the wake, to be held at the Royal Albert Hall.
Toxicology reports are pending.