TRIBUTES have been paid to the 12-year-old son of Ford Kiernan, the star of BBC comedy show Still Game, who died suddenly on Monday evening.
Sonny Kiernan is believed to have been found in his bed at the family home in Glasgow. He was described by staff at Kelvinside Academy as an outgoing pupil “with a warm smile and a great sense of humour”.
In a statement released yesterday, the school said everyone there was “devastated” to learn of the death of a pupil who “brightened our lives”.
It read: “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go to Mr and Mrs Kiernan and [their daughter] Kaye for their tragic loss. Sonny was a lively, outgoing pupil with a warm smile and a great sense of humour.
“He made a whole-hearted contribution to the school community, bringing infectious enthusiasm to lessons and activities. We shall always remember him as a cheerful boy who brightened our lives.”
A spokesman for the BWH Agency, which manages 51-year-old Kiernan, said the family asked for their privacy to be
A BBC Scotland statement said: “This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Ford and his family at this very sad time.”
Sonny lived with his father, mother Lesley, 44, and 15-year-old sister Kaye in part of a large Victorian mansion in the Kelvinside area of the West End of Glasgow.
An autopsy is to be carried out to establish the cause of death.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed emergency services had been called to the property after the alarm was raised. She said: “Around 11:30pm on Monday, police received a report of the death of a 12-year-old boy in Glasgow. A post-mortem will be carried out in due course to establish the exact cause of death.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained and inquiries are continuing.”
Kiernan and comedy partner Greg Hemphill are best known for the BBC Scotland shows Still Game and Chewin’ the Fat.
Although Still Game has not been on TV since a Hogmanay special in January 2008, its popularity was demonstrated when a run of live stage shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow sold out almost immediately after being announced for this autumn.
Kiernan also works as an actor, with roles in Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese and, most recently, in the BBC Scotland drama, Fields of Blood.
One neighbour, a former teacher who taught at Kelvinside Academy, said the news was a “tragedy”. He said: “As a former teacher, [I can say] it’s very unusual. I can honestly say in all the years I taught, this kind of thing never happened. It’s one of those terribly sad things.
“When I heard the news I was shocked – it’s every parent’s worst nightmare. A real tragedy.”
Another neighbour, a woman in her 40s, said: “Someone at work told me, and I was just shocked. I feel really sorry for the family.”
Yesterday, DJ Robin Galloway tweeted: “The tragic death of Ford Kiernan’s 12-year-old son is utterly heartbreaking. Thoughts and prayers with his family at this sad time.”
Veteran comic Andy Cameron tweeted: “Dreadful news about young Sonny Kiernan. My thoughts are with Ford and his family. Life is impossible to understand. RIP Sonny.”
Scott Fletcher, from Gary, Tank Commander, tweeted: “Horrible news this morning. Thoughts are with Ford Kiernan and family. X”.