Frank Skinner broke down in tears on his live radio show today as he revealed his former co-host is fighting for his life in a coma in intensive care after a massive three-car road accident.
The broadcaster, 66, welled up in the closing moments of his Absolute Radio show as he told listeners that his close friend Gareth Richards is fighting to stay alive.
It is believed married father-of-two Richards was injured in a serious accident on the M25 near Heathrow Airport on March 27.
A man, thought to be Richards, was cut free from his vehicle by firefighters before being treated by the London Ambulance Service for head and chest injuries.
Skinner said: 'One thing you have to learn to do in this line of work is to put on a false front and the show must go on, and that's what happened this morning.'
After performing his first gig at London's Wibbly Wobbly boat in October 2004, Gareth Richards' stand up and comedy songs made him a favourite on the comedy circuit.
The comedian has two brothers - Joel and Josh - and has been married to his wife Laura for 21 years, since 2002. They have two sons.
Richards co-hosted Frank Skinner's Sony award-winning Absolute Radio show for two years and has continued to fill in regularly. He supported Skinner on his 2014 and 2020 tours.
Richards was a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year 2007 competition and was runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off 2007.
In 2010, he took his first solo stand up show, Stand Up Between Songs to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was nominated for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer award.
He has taken a show to Edinburgh nearly every year since. His show in August this year would be his tenth solo show at the Fringe.
Richards has also appeared on TV shows such as Russell Howard's Good News, BBC3's Live at the Electric and the children's panel show The Dog Ate My Homework. He has also performed various live and recorded sets for various BBC Radio stations.
Sources include: Mirth Control Comedy
Presenting with his co-host Emily Dean, he added: 'We have been doing this show for 14 years and when we first did the pilot for it, me and Emily, it was rubbish, just the two of us.
'We got a guest on the next one who was Gareth Richards, who was brilliant on here and we asked him to do the show.
'So for the first few years it was me, Em and Gareth. It was great, exciting times.
'He became a very close friend and has supported me on tour. Gareth and Emily are very very close.'
Skinner then revealed that Richards, a comedian, is struggling following a shocking accident earlier this week.
He said: 'Gareth was in a very big road accident this week, and it is not looking great for Gareth.
'He is in hospital and he is fighting and it's not looking great. I didn't want to do this show - we didn't want to do this show - without mentioning him.'
Gareth Richards has been married to his wife Laura for 21 years, since 2002. They have two sons.
The comedian has two brothers - Joel and Josh - and has been performing comedy live since 2004.
His upcoming solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe this August would be his tenth at the festival.
He co-hosted Frank Skinner's radio show for two years and also supported Skinner on his 2014 and 2020 tours.
The crash, believed to have happened at around 11.55pm on Monday, is thought to have occured between a HGV van and two cars.
The Met Police said the man believed to be Richards is in a 'life threatening' condition, according to a report by Surrey Live.
Skinner ended the show by asking listeners with faith to offer up their prayers for Richards.
'I don't know if any of you do pray but if you do, give one for Gareth this week,' he said.
After the crash, Richards' mother, Mary, asked her friends to 'pray' for her son.
She said: 'Our lovely eldest son Gareth was involved in a major collision on the M25.
'He is now in hospital and the prognosis is not looking good apart from a major miracle.
'We are able to sit with him amidst all tubes and machinery as he is not in any pain.
'Please pray for us as a family.'Richard's agents said today: 'We are very sad to announce that one of our management clients at Mirth Control, comedian Gareth Richards, has been very seriously injured in a car crash this week, he remains in a coma currently in intensive care.'
Richard's manager Lynne Johnstone said: 'We are praying that he makes a miraculous recovery and are in touch with his family who are taking one day at a time, our thoughts go out to them and to all and his friends.
'We are all thinking of him and willing him to pull through.'Read more 2023-04-01T14:23:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd