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24th Dec 2017

People are sharing this lovely and comforting moment of Gogglebox’s Leon watching Gladiator

Paul Moore

Pure emotion. Heartbreaking and beautiful.

There’s no denying that the British TV landscape has lost a huge amount of warmth, humour, and compassion following the sad news that Leon Bernicoff has passed away.

To many viewers, Leon’s quick wit and decency was the heart of the Channel 4 show and as the station said in their statement: “We will all miss him so very dearly. Our thoughts are with June and family at this incredibly sad time.”

Since the sad news was announced, plenty of tributes have been paid with Paddy McGuinness calling him “the critics’ critic” while Sue Perkins described him as an “absolute gent”. Former Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt said: “Leon you were loved by so many. Sending my love to you and all of your family.”

The retired teacher and his wife June were one of the first couples to join the show’s cast when it launched in 2013 and they quickly became idolised by the public.

We all have our favourite memories of Leon, but people are sharing one poignant scene from Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning epic, Gladiator.

If you remember the ending of that film, Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, dies from a wound that he sustained before engaging in combat against Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix)

As his life nears its end, Maximus’ subconscious drifts away into the afterlife as he imagines the most idyllic and peaceful version of heaven – a beautiful reunion with his wife and son.

During a memorable segment on Gogglebox, Leon and June were watching and talking about Ridley Scott’s film and it’s impossible not to be moved by Leon’s reaction to that particular scene.

Clearly touched by the final scene, Leon turns to June and says: “He’s died and he’s joined them. I like to think that’s true, you know.”

June replied: “Yeah, well you do, don’t you? Especially when you get to our age.”

“Oh I think so, I believe it. I’d join you, you see. Always, June,” Leon said.

Touching, genuine and full of love.

It’s fitting that these words are the exact same ones that public would use to describe Leon.

An absolute gentleman.