'Panto will never be the same again' - devastated readers react to the news that beloved entertainer Andy Gray has died

Tributes are being paid by our readers to the much-loved actor and comedy star Andy Gray after he passed away.

Allan Stewart as Fairy May and Andy Gray as Buttons in Cinderella

The Scottish entertainment world has been left stunned and heartbroken by the death of 61-year-old City Lights, Naked Video and River City, star, Andy Gray

Now tributes are flooding in from our readers as they react to the news of Mr Gray’s passing.

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Ella Shepherd commented on Facebook: “So very sad. When panto starts again, there will be a big void. RIP.”

Alma Campbell said he was a “national treasure” who will be missed.

Pauline Duraj said: “RIP Andy, you were a legend who always put smiles on everyone's faces.”

Nikki Calder echoed those comments writing: “So sad. Absolutely devastated, panto never be the same again.”

The Perth-based actor was one of the stars of the Christmas pantomime at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh each year and was also a huge draw at the Fringe thanks to his theatre double act with Grant Stott.

Andy Gray on stage at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh, playing Buttons in Cinderella.

Caroline Drummond said: “Such sad news. Seeing him each year at the panto, watching River City, City Lights and Naked Video. A real character.”

Mhairi Leslie said Mr Gray was always the one she looked forward to seeing at the panto every year, and it “won’t be the same” now.

Another reader wrote: “So sorry to hear this news , what a fantastic entertainer Andy was. Always a joy to watch in the Edinburgh panto, which now unfortunately will never be the same. RIP Andy, we will miss you.”

Mike McCormack had similar feelings and wrote: “RIP Andy, a very funny man. Many a good night spent at the Kings in Edinburgh.”

Andy Gray was one of Edinburgh's best-known stage stars thanks to his annual Fringe and panto appearances.

After the cancellation of the most recent show due to the pandemic, Mr Gray had been due to appear with King's co-star Allan Stewart in a festive show in Milton Keynes, which was eventually called off due to tightened restrictions in the area.

Linda Ross Calder Thirde commented: “So very sad, I was looking forward to the cancelled panto this year. Will never be the same. What a rubbish start to 2021.”

Vivian Farmer paid tribute saying: “So very sad, the panto will never be the same without him. Although he had a lot of acting roles over the years, I loved watching him every year in the panto. Condolences to his family.”

Cathie Grandison said that she has so many happy memories of him in Pantomime and in the Fringe festival, adding that “his smile was infectious” and he will be “sorely missed.”

Karen James shared the moment where she met the treasured entertainer, she said: “Gutted to hear this news and gutted for his friends and family.

"I remember we crossed paths in Central Station and he looked at me and said, ‘how you doing?’, as if he knew me. Loved him!”

Claire Campbell wrote: “Kings theatre will not be the same without you. Sleep well, Andy.”

Finally, Caroline McClung summed up the feeling across Scotland today, writing: “So saddened to hear of this wonderful man passing away.

"He didn’t even have to speak to be hilarious. Such a huge loss to the world.

"Your star will shine brightly forever in our hearts.”

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