Lizzie Cundy has shared her memories of The Office star Ewen MacIntosh after his death at the age of 50 was confirmed on Wednesday.
The Welsh actor became a household name after playing stolid Scottish accounts clerk Keith Bishop in Ricky Gervais’ legendary sitcom The Office.
And Lizzie, 55, recalled working with MacIntosh, a close friend, after they were cast in a cheerful music video for Chris Rea’s festive track Driving Home For Christmas.
The song, originally a hit for Rea in 1988, was re-released as a digital download in 2009, with all profits going to registered tenants’ rights charity Shelter.
Cundy was already close to MacIntosh before the last-minute shoot at Shepperton Studios and admits he once gave his son some valuable career advice.
Lizzie Cundy has paid tribute to The Office star Ewen MacIntosh after his death aged 50 was confirmed on Wednesday.
She told MailOnline: “We were already friends, we met on the showbiz circuit and we got on very well.” My son wanted to be an actor and Ewan was very kind and he told me which drama schools to attend. He was so charming.’
Recalling the shoot, where they were joined by the likes of Lionel Blair, Gail Porter, Mike Dean and T’Pau singer Carol Decker for a Christmas-themed video, Cundy admits that MacIntosh was a popular figure on set.
She remembered: ‘We laughed and laughed all day. We thought, how can we believe that he and I are here in Chris Rea’s real pop video, with so many big-name stars? And there was Ewen and me.
‘There was fake snow that constantly stuck to his beard and hair and I kept saying he had dandruff. Every time he danced and smiled, it got in my mouth and we laughed.’
He added: “He was an absolutely beautiful person inside and out, totally humble and was the complete opposite of what he could be.” He spoke so well of everyone and loved. Ricky Gervais. She was a lovely and fun person. So many laughs.’
Cundy admits they also pranked legendary artist Blair, who died in November 2021 at the age of 92.
She said: ‘I pretended I was a very famous actress from America and Ewen backed me up. Lionel totally believed it and then asked me for an autograph, but Ewen was a great joker with a deadpan face, a great poker face and very funny.
MacIntosh was best known for playing an egg-loving Scottish accountant in Gervais’ hit comedy, which became an instant comedy classic when it was released in 2001 and led to the creation of a hugely successful American version.
Lizzie recalled her own fond memory of working with MacIntosh, a close friend, after they were cast in a cheerful music video for Chris Rea’s festive song Driving Home For Christmas.
The song, originally a hit for Rea in 1988, was re-released as a digital download in 2009 with all profits going to registered tenants’ rights charity Shelter.
Recalling the last-minute shoot at Shepperton Studios, Cundy admits that MacIntosh was a popular figure on set.
The Welsh actor, who has also appeared in British comedies such as After Life, Miranda and Little Britain, shared a photo of himself in hospital in February 2022 and told his fans that he was having a “bad time”.
The cause of his death has not been confirmed, but friends praised the “empathy and incredible care” of the medical staff and nurses. MacIntosh, who is survived by his parents and his brother, is believed to have never been married or had children.
Gervais led the tributes on Wednesday, writing on X/Twitter: ‘Extremely sad news. The very funny and charming Ewen Macintosh, known to many as ‘Big Keith’ from The Office, has died. An absolute original. RIP.’
When The Office fans woke up to the devastating news, many pledged to have a Scotch egg in honor of the late actor.
JustRight Management, the actor’s representatives, confirmed the star’s tragic death in a statement that read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved comedy genius Ewen MacIntosh.
“His family thanks everyone who supported him, especially Willow Green Care Home.”
The comedian’s friend Ed Scott, executive producer, paid tribute to those who cared for MacIntosh, writing: “Thank you to the incredible care and love given by the wonderful medical staff and especially the nurses who loved him as he brought a smile to their days.
“I saw first-hand the empathy and incredible care they gave him, it was very comforting during the most difficult times and I will be forever grateful to all of them.”
In 2022, The Office star was rushed to the hospital and said he was having “bad times”
The Welsh actor became a household name after playing stolid Scottish accounts clerk Keith Bishop in Ricky Gervais’ legendary comedy The Office.
In an interview with Vice in 2021, MacIntosh joked that he had no idea why Scotch eggs were chosen as his signature meal and revealed the difficulties he and Freeman faced when filming the scene.
He said: ‘My first scene with Martin [Freeman]where I eat scotch egg; For some reason we had trouble doing it.
“It took years to achieve it. I spent a lot of Scotch eggs. They didn’t tell me anything about that. The prop guy ran out and bought them at the last minute.
MacIntosh also appeared in the comedies Lead Balloon and Mongrels, while he had a small role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster, where he played a waiter alongside Colin Farrell and Olivia Colman.
As a comedian, he had a double act with Tim FitzHigham and the pair performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007.
His most recent acting credit was in 2017, where he played Lionel in the British romantic comedy Finding Fatimah.
Ricky Gervais led the tributes to the Welsh actor after his death was confirmed this Wednesday