The Office's 'Big Keith', actor Ewen MacIntosh, dies aged 50

The Office actor who played Keith in Ricky Gervais sitcom dies aged 50
The Office actor who played Keith in Ricky Gervais sitcom dies aged 50 - BBC/JACK BARNES/Television Stills

Ewen MacIntosh, who starred as Keith Bishop in The Office, has died aged 50.

The actor and comedian who was known as “Big Keith” on Ricky Gervais’ sitcom was renowned for his character’s Scotch egg scene.

In the now famous exchange between Big Keith and Tim Canterbury, played by Martin Freeman, MacIntosh takes a large lingering bite out of a Scotch egg when Freeman discusses performing a sexual act on himself.

In another scene MacIntosh takes a bite out of a Scotch egg while dressed up as Ali G for Red Nose Day after telling a colleague Americans call bumbags, “fanny packs”. The monotone accountant explains that “fanny” refers to one’s bottom in the US, as opposed to the English interpretation.

Ricky Gervais said the death was “extremely sad” in a tribute to MacIntosh.

He wrote on X, formerly Twitter:

Ed Scott, a friend of Macintosh, wrote on X:

MacIntosh also appeared in shows such as Miranda and Little Britain.

Matt Lucas, the actor and comedian who starred in Little Britain, said in a Tweet: “So sad to hear of the passing of Ewen MacIntosh.

“We were lucky enough to have him appear in ‘Little Britain’. He was sweet and smart and humble and, of course, brilliantly funny.”

Mr Scott, who is the chief executive of production company Dodged A Bullet Music, added: “Ewen was so full of empathy, kindness, and integrity and above all a really good man.

“Sending love to his parents Sara and Ewen Sr, his brother Colin and his family, as well as his many friends and fans.”

JustRight Management confirmed the death of MacIntosh in a statement shared on social media.

It said: “With great sadness we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved comedy genius Ewen MacIntosh.

“His family thank all who supported him, especially Willow Green Care Home.”

The Office podcast Out Of Office also posted a tribute, saying the actor would “always be fondly remembered firstly as a great guy, but also as a key part of the greatest British sitcom of all time.”

It added: “An excellent legacy to leave. RIP.”