Rufus Hound leads tributes after stand-up comic Ian Cognito dies at gig

By Alex Green, Press Association
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Rufus Hound leads tributes after stand-up comic Ian Cognito dies at gig

Cognito held cult status among many high-profile comics.

Katy Brand and Rufus Hound have led tributes to comedian Ian Cognito who has died during a gig.

The stand-up comic fell ill at the Atic bar in Bicester where the Lone Wolf Comedy Club was being held on Thursday.

Paramedics were called after 10pm but a man was pronounced dead at the venue, a spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service said.

Actor and comedian Hound said comedy had lost “one of the greats”.

He said: “Ian Cognito has died. That might not mean much to you if your knowledge of stand-up only extends to a screen but for anyone who ever sat down in a comedy club and saw him on a stage – this is a hard one.

“Puck grew up and now Puck is dead. We have lost one of the greats. Shit.”

Brand paid tribute to “Cogs”, as he was known on the comedy circuit, saying: “Sad to hear about Ian Cognito.

“I hung with him a good few times in the past, and he was always fascinating and hilarious company. RIP Cogs.”

Tiffany Stevenson, who has appeared on Russell Howard’s Good News and Mock The Week, celebrated Cognito’s reputation as a hell-raiser.

She said: “There has never been more apocryphal tales around a comedian than Ian Cognito. If half of them are true the shit he got up to during the heydays of the circuit is of legend.

“Wondering/hoping that at the wake someone will bang a nail into the wall and hang a coat on it.”

A statement from the ambulance service read: “We were called at 22:11 last night to Crown Walk in Bicester to a medical emergency.

“We sent a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew but sadly one patient passed away at the scene.”

Thames Valley Police said that no further investigation was required.

Stand-up Luisa Omielan said: “Just heard about Ian Cognito, I saw him one once in stage years ago and was in awe, he was as epic as his reputation. Rebellious and brilliant.

“I heard he passed away after being on stage. He even died like a f****** legend. Far far too soon. Love to his family.”

Cognito enjoyed cult status among his contemporaries and won the Time Out Award for Stand-up Comedy in 1999.

But the iconoclastic performer never achieved mainstream success, in part because of his unpredictable nature and routines.