Stephen Mangan's tragic family losses that changed his outlook on life

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Celebrity Gogglebox star Stephen Mangan has a strong bond with his sister Anita - forged after the premature loss of both their parents. Stephen, known for his comedic performances in Episodes and Green Wing, lost his mother when he was just 22.

She died after a six-month battle with colon cancer aged 45. Stephen previously opened up about the death of his parents.

Stephen, 56, admitted he found it a “ridiculously” early age to die. He told the Metro he had felt helpless in the face of his mother’s illness but was grateful to be able to care for her.

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He said: “The only good aspect of this terrible situation is that you’re given warning someone is dying. You are given the opportunity to say things to the person you wouldn’t have said if they suddenly died in an accident.”

He also told the Independent: "When I was going through the most traumatic and difficult times of my life when I was watching my parents die, there were moments where things were funny. Now you could stand at the side and go, 'Oh you find it funny that your mum's dying? You find it funny that your dad's dying?' No.

"But as a human being, that ability to find humour in the darkest moments can save you. In the bleakest, darkest moments, comedy can throw a light. I think the Brits, especially, understand dark humour and understand that it's got its place. Now of course, what one person finds appropriate and funny may appal someone else, and that's OK."

Tragically, in 2005, Stephen also lost his father to cancer. He died of a brain tumour aged 63. Stephen said at the time how it felt “wrong” that his dad was never able to meet his kids.

But Stephen – who consequently had regular colonoscopies – added: “You can’t go around thinking you’re going to die all the time but life is precious because there isn’t that much of it."