Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper

Comedian Cognito dies on stage in Bicester

  • Print


BBC Online :
Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on stage during a performance.
The 60-year-old comic sat down on a stool while breathing heavily, before falling silent for five minutes during his show on Thursday. Compere Andrew Bird said the crowd at the The Atic bar in Bicester had thought it was a joke, and continued to laugh, unaware something was wrong.
South Central Ambulance Service confirmed Cognito was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Bird, who runs the Lone Wolf Comedy Club event at the venue, said Cognito had not been feeling well before the gig started, but insisted on going on stage. "He was like his old self, his voice was loud. I was thinking 'he's having such a good gig'," Mr Bird said. Mr Bird said Cognito had even joked about his health during his set, telling the audience: "Imagine if I died in front of you lot here."
It was Mr Bird who first went on stage to check if his fellow comedian was ok.
"Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking," he said.
"Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say 'boo'."
Once it became clear something was wrong, two off-duty A&E nurses and a police officer began chest compressions and an ambulance was called. Audience member John Ostojak said: "Only 10 minutes before he sat down he joked about having a stroke. "He said, 'imagine having a stroke and waking up speaking Welsh'."
Mr Ostojak said: "We came out feeling really sick, we just sat there for five minutes watching him, laughing at him." Mr Bird said dying on stage would have been the way the veteran comic "would have wanted to go", "except he'd want more money and a bigger venue". Cognito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, was born in London in 1958, and had been performing since the mid-1980s.
Fellow comedians have paid tribute, describing him as a "proper comic" and praising his support for up-and-coming acts. Eight Out Of Ten Cats presenter Jimmy Carr paid tribute to Cognito, saying: "I'll never forget his kindness when I started out..." Comedian and columnist Mark Steel said the comic was "a difficult awkward hilarious troubled brilliant sort, a proper comic".
BBC Radio 4 Extra's comedy club presenter Arthur Smith said Cognito was "hugely admired by his fellow comics". Rufus Hound said on Twitter: "We have lost one of the greats".

More News For this Category

Student 'raped' in Bagerhat another madrasa principal held

UNB, Bagerhat :Detectives in a drive arrested two people including the principal of a madrasa from Foyla area in Rampal upazila on Friday night in a case filed over

8 BCL men expelled from JUST

Our Correspondent :Eight students of Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST) were expelled for misconduct. The expelled students are activists and supporters of Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL), the

Egyptians vote in referendum to extend Sisi's rule

AFP  :Egyptians voted Saturday in a referendum that aims to cement the rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former coup leader who presents himself as a rock of

Sudan investigating Bashir after large sums of cash found at home

Reuters, Khartoum :Sudan's public prosecutor has begun investigating ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a

Modi berates Mamata over Ferdous campaign blunder

The News World :Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allowing Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed to campaign for

Blind Japanese sailor completes non-stop Pacific voyage

Blind Japanese sailor completes non-stop Pacific voyage

BBC Online :A blind Japanese sailor has completed a non-stop Pacific crossing, reportedly making him the first visually impaired person to do so.Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, 52, sailed the 8,700-mile (14,000

Police officers guard a crime scene where unidentified assailants opened fire at a bar in Minatitlan in Veracruz state of Mexico.

Police officers guard a crime scene where unidentified assailants opened fire at a bar in Minatitlan in Veracruz state of Mexico.

.

'Drug trader' killed in gunfight

UNB, Sirajganj :A suspected drug trader was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Ghoshgati village in Ullapara upazila early Saturday.The deceased was identified as Mostafa Kamal, 35,

Skilled manpower needed in digital economy era: Speakers

UNb, Dhaka :Bangladesh needs skilled manpower possessing technology-based knowledge in the digital economic era, speakers told a seminar on Saturday.They noted that the youths will have to gain technical

Man found dead in Gazipur

UNB, Gazipur :A man was found dead at Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) on Friday night.The deceased was identified as Ansarul Haque Talukdar, 55, son of Mujibur Rahman of