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Googlebox dedicates Christmas episode to Leon Bernicoff

Leon Bernicoff, who was 83, passed away on Saturday following a short illness
The star, who was a d..

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  • Leon Bernicoff, who was 83, passed away on Saturday following a short illness
  • The star, who was a devoted Everton fan, was a favourite among fans of the show
  • He is survived by his wife June, his two daughters as well as his sons-in-law

By Jason Chester for MailOnline

Published: 18:25 EST, 24 December 2017 | Updated: 18:25 EST, 24 December 2017

Channel 4 has dedicated its Christmas Gogglebox show to late cast member Leon Bernicoff, who died on Saturday at the age of 83 after a short illness.

At the start of Sunday evening's night's instalment, an announcer told viewers: 'Before Gogglebox begins, we're sorry to share the very sad news that Leon passed away in hospital yesterday.

'He will be sorely missed and we dedicate tonight's show to his memory.'

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Tribute: Channel 4 has dedicated its Christmas Gogglebox show to late cast member Leon Bernicoff, who died on Saturday at the age of 83 after a short illness 

Tribute: Channel 4 has dedicated its Christmas Gogglebox show to late cast member Leon Bernicoff, who died on Saturday at the age of 83 after a short illness

The programme opened with previously recorded footage of Leon trying some Christmas sweets.

Viewers said it was the perfect tribute to the TV personality, who became a central character on the show with his wife June after it first launched in 2013.

'What fitting tribute to @LeonAndJune. Leon scoffing the sweets and June busy cleaning up after him. Gogglebox just knows how we love to remember him. R.I.P Sir!' one person said on Twitter.

Emotional: Viewers said it was the perfect tribute to the TV personality, who became a central character on the show with his wife June after it first launched in 2013Emotional: Viewers said it was the perfect tribute to the TV personality, who became a central character on the show with his wife June after it first launched in 2013

Emotional: Viewers said it was the perfect tribute to the TV personality, who became a central character on the show with his wife June after it first launched in 2013

Another posted: 'Wonderful tribute and dedication to Leon just before tonight's Gogglebox. Rest in Peace, Leon, you legend.'

In a statement relased on Saturday, Channel 4 and show creators Studio Lambert said: 'It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad news that after a short illness Gogglebox's Leon Bernicoff passed away in hospital earlier today.

'Leon and his wife June were the first members of the public to be cast for Gogglebox back in early 2013 and they soon grew to become much-loved voices during the course of the show's 10 series to date.

'Leon's unique personality and sharp wit endeared him to fans of the show as he contributed fully to Gogglebox's reputation as a programme full of warm humour and unvarnished opinion.

'To those of us that knew him personally, Leon was a man of unwavering principles who exerted a distinct paternal presence both on and off screen. He will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family; cast and crew.'

Leon was born on October 27 1934. He is survived by wife June, two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.

His final Gogglebox appearance comes after an emotional video of Leon declaring his undying love for wife June has emerged online, twenty four hours after his death.

The clip, which aired on Gogglebox back in 2015, sees the pair discussing the afterlife – leading Leon to sweetly assure June they will 'always' meet each other again in heaven.

'Always, June': an emotional video of Leon declaring his undying love for wife June has emerged online, twenty four hours after his death'Always, June': an emotional video of Leon declaring his undying love for wife June has emerged online, twenty four hours after his death

'Always, June': an emotional video of Leon declaring his undying love for wife June has emerged online, twenty four hours after his death

The touching moment sees Leon and June watching a moment from Gladiator, which followed the late lead character reuniting with his wife and son in heaven.

Welling up at the moment, Leon is heard saying: 'He's died and he's joined them. I like to think that's true, you know.'

To which June replies: 'Yeah, well you do, don't you? Especially when you get to our age.'

Doing what they do best: The touching moment sees Leon and June watching a moment from Gladiator, which followed the late lead character reuniting with his wife and son in heavenDoing what they do best: The touching moment sees Leon and June watching a moment from Gladiator, which followed the late lead character reuniting with his wife and son in heaven

Doing what they do best: The touching moment sees Leon and June watching a moment from Gladiator, which followed the late lead character reuniting with his wife and son in heaven

Emotional: Welling up at the moment, Leon is heard saying: 'He's died and he's joined them. I like to think that's true, you know'Emotional: Welling up at the moment, Leon is heard saying: 'He's died and he's joined them. I like to think that's true, you know'

Emotional: Welling up at the moment, Leon is heard saying: 'He's died and he's joined them. I like to think that's true, you know'

Agreement: To which June replies: 'Yeah, well you do, don't you? Especially when you get to our age'Agreement: To which June replies: 'Yeah, well you do, don't you? Especially when you get to our age'

Agreement: To which June replies: 'Yeah, well you do, don't you? Especially when you get to our age'

Proving his endless love for his wife, Leon then adds with tears in his eyes: 'I'd join you, you see. Always, June.'

The clip was shared on Twitter hours after his death – breaking the hearts of fans, and leading them to pay further tribute to Leon on the site.

One kicked things off by praising: ''Always June' Such a lovely man and the sort of relationship most can only dream of having RIP lovely Leon.'

 Heart-warming: Proving his endless love for his wife, Leon then adds with tears in his eyes: 'I'd join you, you see. Always, June' Heart-warming: Proving his endless love for his wife, Leon then adds with tears in his eyes: 'I'd join you, you see. Always, June'

Heart-warming: Proving his endless love for his wife, Leon then adds with tears in his eyes: 'I'd join you, you see. Always, June'

Devastating: The clip was shared on Twitter hours after his death - breaking the hearts of fansDevastating: The clip was shared on Twitter hours after his death - breaking the hearts of fans

Devastating: The clip was shared on Twitter hours after his death – breaking the hearts of fans

While another added: 'I love that. 'I'd join you, always June' oh if only we were all so lucky to find love like that. That's brought a tear to my eye.'

Further emotional fans chimed in: 'OMG I'm in floods at this. So beautiful' and 'Absolutely beautiful moment. Much love to June and his family.'

Others even confessed the moment stuck out as one of the best in Gogglebox history, adding: 'Aww I remember this. RIP Leon a man of principle , good humour and genuine warmth.'

And: 'My favourite moment ever in Gogglebox history. Thought of it after hearing sad news on Leon, Thank you for sharing!'

  RIP: Viewers immediately began to pay further tribute to Leon on the siteRIP: Viewers immediately began to pay further tribute to Leon on the site

RIP: Viewers immediately began to pay further tribute to Leon on the site

Leon's bereft wife June thanked viewers for their messages of support on Saturday night, adding that 'Leon would have loved reading them'.

Tributes poured in for the the star, 83, who passed away yesterday in hospital following a short illness.

They included messages of support from fellow stars of the hit Channel 4 show — including television personality Scarlett Moffatt, who said Leon was 'loved by so many'.

Leon's widow, June, took to Twitter to thank viewers for their countless messages of support.

'Sharp wit': Gogglebox favourite Leon Bernicoff died in hospital on Saturday following a short illness'Sharp wit': Gogglebox favourite Leon Bernicoff died in hospital on Saturday following a short illness

'Sharp wit': Gogglebox favourite Leon Bernicoff died in hospital on Saturday following a short illness

Leon's widow, June, tonight took to Twitter to thank viewers for their countless messages of supportLeon's widow, June, tonight took to Twitter to thank viewers for their countless messages of support

Leon's widow, June, tonight took to Twitter to thank viewers for their countless messages of support

He is survived by wife June (left and right), two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildrenHe is survived by wife June (left and right), two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildrenLeon was born on October 27 1934Leon was born on October 27 1934

Leon was born on October 27 1934. He is survived by wife June (left and right), two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.

The retired teacher and his wife June both pictured left on their wedding day in 1960The retired teacher and his wife June both pictured left on their wedding day in 1960He died in hospital on Saturday, Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert said in a statement issued on behalf of his familyHe died in hospital on Saturday, Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert said in a statement issued on behalf of his family

The retired teacher, pictured left with June on their wedding day in 1960) was adored for his legendary wit

As well as his wife June, he is survived by his two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildrenAs well as his wife June, he is survived by his two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren

As well as his wife June, he is survived by his two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren

She said: 'Thank you folks for all your wonderful messages. Leon would have loved reading them and hearing how much he was loved.

'Goodnight and God bless!'

Leon, a retired teacher, had been looking forward to spending Christmas with June, as revealed in a final tweet posted on Friday.

They said: 'Goodnight folks! Christmas is almost here, let's all try to remember it's the season on [sic] good will however fraught we get!!!'

The Gogglebox legends were one of the first couples to join the show's cast when it launched in 2013.

A devoted Everton fan, Leon met June in 1955 with the couple marrying five years later.

During his run on the programme – which shows families across Britain watching television – he described both Nigel Farage and Jamie Oliver as a 'd***head'.

Tributes have poured in for much-loved starTributes have poured in for much-loved starScarlett Moffatt said: 'Words can't explain what you meant to so many people. From your words of encouragement to the little DMs. Leon you were loved by so many. Sending my love to you and all of your family'Scarlett Moffatt said: 'Words can't explain what you meant to so many people. From your words of encouragement to the little DMs. Leon you were loved by so many. Sending my love to you and all of your family'

Tributes have poured in for much-loved star, including from co-Gogglebox personality Scarlett Moffatt (right)

'I THOUGHT SHE WAS GORGEOUS AND I STILL DO': THE LOVE THAT LASTED A LIFETIME

Leon, a retired teacher, was one of the first people to join the show's cast - along with his wife June - when it launched in 2013Leon, a retired teacher, was one of the first people to join the show's cast - along with his wife June - when it launched in 2013

Leon, a retired teacher, was one of the first people to join the show's cast – along with his wife June – when it launched in 2013

Gogglebox's favourite and most adorable couple were lifelong sweethearts for six decades.

They were famous for their harmless bickering, soppy comments and Leon's hilariously frank observations.

Speaking to the Sunday People before Valentines Day 2016, Leon said he enjoyed the fame Gogglebox brought him and June, adding: 'I'm hugged and kissed by women in the street every day and not just in Liverpool.'

The couple met in 1955 at a teacher-training college dance, where they say it was love at first sight.

Leon said: 'I thought she was gorgeous. And I still do. But she's a bugger now, always nagging me! You should have seen her at 18. Wow. The prom queen.'

But Leon's Jewish family clashed with June's catholic upbringing and the couple had to keep their relationship a secret for four years.

'We ended up having a very unromantic proposal. June was screaming at me saying 'are you going to marry me or not!?' Oh, it was awful,' said Leon.

He added that their parents would accept them if they were serious.

Leon felt 'relief' on their wedding day, saying that he could 'finally' look after her.

While married life has been 'stormy at times', according to June, the couple said at the time that they could not live without each other and that the longest they had ever spent apart was just four days.

Hundreds of tributes have poured on for the Gogglebox legend, including from fellow stars of the show, Everton Football Club and the Mayor of Liverpool Hundreds of tributes have poured on for the Gogglebox legend, including from fellow stars of the show, Everton Football Club and the Mayor of Liverpool 

Hundreds of tributes have poured on for the Gogglebox legend, including from fellow stars of the show, Everton Football Club and the Mayor of Liverpool

LEON'S GREATEST MOMENTS (AND THE MOST OUTSPOKEN ONES!)

From considering auditioning for The X Factor to insulting David Cameron, Gogglebox's Leon Bernicoff endured a colourful stardom on the Channel 4 show.

Labelled the 'grandfather of Gogglebox' by its creator, Bernicoff sadly died on Saturday aged 83 after a short illness.

Take a look at some of his highlights during his and wife June's four years on the programme.

Leon hits out at David Cameron

Quite vocal in his dislike for the Conservative Party, Bernicoff once said of the then-PM: 'You're no good as Prime Minister, you fat-faced Tory.'

Handsome Leon

Seen recording his voice phone message by the Gogglebox cameras, Bernicoff saved his message as: 'This is handsome Leon – I can't take your call now because I'm making love to June. Sorry about that. Bye.'

Telling June he would take care of her if she was ill

Watching an emotional scene on Coronation Street in which one character was dying, June told her husband she would not want him to see her if she was seriously sick.

He told her: 'I will never allow you to have any problems, I'll look after you. You won't go in a home I'll keep you with me.'

His take on The X Factor's Honey G

Watching the controversial act, Bernicoff said he could match her. He told June: 'I could go on and say 'Leon B, Leon B everybody loves Leon B'.'

His love of food

The couple were often snacking while watching TV with Leon once telling June: 'There's three people in this marriage. You, me and the fridge.'

The retired teacher and his wife June were one of the first couples to join the show's cast when it launched in 2013.

'I'D JOIN YOU, YOU SEE. ALWAYS, JUNE': LEON'S EMOTIONAL WORDS TO JUNE

During an especially tear-jerking episode of Gogglebox filmed in 2015, Leon and June were watching Gladiator when they shared an emotional conversation.

Touched by a scene where the protagonist dies and meets his son and wife in a version of heaven, Leon turns to June and says: 'He's died and he's joined them.

'I like to think that's true, you know.'

June responds: 'Yeah, well you do, don't you. Especially when you get to our age.'

Leon says: 'Oh I think so, I believe it.'

As tears well up in the loving couple's eyes, he adds: 'I'd join you, you see. Always, June.'

Since news of his passing was announced, hundreds have paid tribute to Leon.

Gogglebox co-star Scarlett Moffat tweeted: 'Words can't explain what you meant to so many people.

'From your words of encouragement to me to the little DMs. Leon you were loved by so many. Sending my love to you and all of your family.'

Everton FC tweeted: 'Our deepest condolences go out tot he family and friends of Leon, the Evertonian who entertained the nation on @C4Gogglebox.

'Our thoughts are especially with his wife June at this terribly sad time.'

Fellow Gogglebox stars Lee Riley and Jenny Newby said: 'Sending all our love to June and family at this sad time on the passing of our TV legend Leon R.I.P.'

The McCormick family, who also appear on the show, said that they were 'gutted' to hear the news.

They tweeted: 'Omg I've just heard!!! poor#leon I'm gutted absolutely gutted. @LeonAndJune sending all our love and strength . So so sorry to hear this . Xxxx.'

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Sanderson tweeted: 'So sad to hear Google Box Liverpool star Leon Bernicoff has died such a genuine lovely funny man, deepest sympathy to June and all his family.'

Leon was born on October 27 1934. He is survived by wife June, two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.

The couple, pictured on their wedding day in 1960The couple, pictured on their wedding day in 1960Leon and June at The Oldie Awards Lunch at Simpsons Resturant, The Strand, London in 2016Leon and June at The Oldie Awards Lunch at Simpsons Resturant, The Strand, London in 2016

In a statement, Channel 4 and Studio Lambert said: 'It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad news that after a short illness Gogglebox's Leon Bernicoff passed away in hospital earlier today'

Since news of his passing was announced, hundreds have paid tribute to LeonSince news of his passing was announced, hundreds have paid tribute to Leon

Since news of his passing was announced, hundreds have paid tribute to Leon

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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