Connect with us

Benefits Street star Fungi, 50, took his own life after cancer diagnosis, pal claims

benefits street star fungi 50 took his own life after cancer diagnosis pal claims

Celebrities

Benefits Street star Fungi, 50, took his own life after cancer diagnosis, pal claims

Benefits Street star Fungi tragically died at the age of 50 this week, five years after the show that made him famous ended.

Fungi, real name James Clarke, was found by paramedics in cardiac arrest in the early hours of Monday morning following a suspected drug overdose.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at a house for recovering drug addicts in Birmingham. His cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but police are not treating it as suspicious.

Fungi's cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but police are not treating it as suspicious
Fungi’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but police are not treating it as suspicious
(Image: Channel 4)

According to a friend who found his body, the TV star – who appeared on the show alongside Celebrity Big Brother’s White Dee – had been diagnosed with cancer and left a note for his girlfriend Kerrie.

His friend Dave Wilde, 52, told The Sun: “We had not seen him for a few days so we went round the house to check on him and the people there had not seen him either so I took the door off and there he was.

“He left a note to his girlfriend Kerrie saying how much he loved her and that she was his world but he did not want her to see him go through pain and that he had just had enough.

Fungi reportedly passed away from a heart attack triggered by a suspected drug overdose
Fungi reportedly passed away from a heart attack triggered by a suspected drug overdose
(Image: BPM Media)

“It is just tragic no one had checked on him to see if he was OK but he was in a lot of pain with the cancer.

“He had knocked the drugs on the head and was doing really well before he got cancer but he was in a lot of pain at the end. He was having trouble with his legs.”

He added: ”We loved him, there is a big hole in a lot of people’s lives now he has gone.”

Channel 4
Fungi appeared on the Channel 4 show Benefits Street
Fungi had appeared on the show alongside White Dee
Fungi had appeared on the show alongside White Dee
(Image: Wenn)

His ex-partner Donna Reilly confirmed the tragic news on Monday, telling the publication: “His daughter is in bits.”


Video Loading

She added: “The family are very upset, we’ve only just heard. It’s been a long time, about 30 years.

“The last time I saw him was at his dad’s funeral in January. I haven’t seen him since, I don’t keep in touch with him.”

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.

More in Celebrities

To Top