Tributes have been paid to the well-known Northern Irish actor BJ Hogg, who has died, aged 65.
He was best known for his role as Big Mervyn in the BBC Northern Ireland series Give My Head Peace.
He was in the hit comedy for more than 20 years and toured with the cast in the stage show earlier this year.
BJ Hogg also appeared in several high-profile TV series including episodes of The Fall and Game of Thrones.
He also acted in several films shot in Northern Ireland including Hunger, Closing the Ring and Divorcing Jack.
Another role was as widower father Lexie in the short film Dance Lexie Dance, which was nominated for an Oscar in 1998 for best live action short film.
Born in Lisburn in 1955, his career on stage and screen in Northern Ireland spanned almost four decades.
BJ Hogg’s agent Geoff Stanton said “there just weren’t the words” to express his shock and sadness at the news of his death.
“He was such a great man, a big personality and a terrific actor. His family must be devastated and my heart goes out to them,” he said.
“He was just one of the nicest people I know, or knew – he is going to be such a loss.”
‘It’s just heartbreaking’
In a statement, the comedy team behind Give My Head Peace, the Hole in the Wall gang, said: “BJ is part of the Give My Head Peace family.
“He was a fine actor, great colleague and a true friend. Our thoughts are with his wife Elish, son Nathan and daughter Abigail at this time.”
Fellow actor Tim McGarry said: “BJ isn’t just a colleague of ours or a great actor, he’s not just a friend, he’s part of the ‘Give My Head Peace’ family and we are very much a family.
“I was on stage with him a few weeks ago and it’s just heartbreaking.
“He was such a lovely guy. BJ, as you probably know, was a big guy but he was a big softie as well and it is just so, so sad.”
Peter Johnston, Director BBC NI, said: “BJ was a great comedy talent and a much-loved character in our long-running sitcom, Give My Head Peace.
“Many people will also remember his performance in the Oscar-nominated Dance, Lexie Dance. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”
Source: BBC Northern Ireland