Ewen MacIntosh death: The Office star dies aged 50

Ewen MacIntosh, who played Keith Bishop in The Office, has died aged 50.

Tributes are pouring in for the star, who was known by many for his role in the British sitcom created by Ricky Gervais.

News of MacIntosh’s death was announced by his management company Just Right Management, who said: “With great sadness we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved comedy genius Ewen MacIntosh.

“His family thank all who supported him, especially Willow Green Care Home. There will be a private cremation for family & close friends soon and a celebratory memorial later in the year.”

Gervais has paid tribute to MacIntosh, calling his co-star “an absolute original”.

The comedian wrote on X/Twitter: “Extremely sad news. The very funny and very lovely Ewen Macintosh, known to many as ‘Big Keith’ from The Office, has passed away. An absolute original. RIP.”

MacIntosh’s big break came after being cast as oddball Keith in The Office in 2001, a role he played in 14 episodes until the show’s conclusion in 2003. Thanks to the character’s DJ’ing skills and Ali G impersonation, he became a cult favourite.

His other sitcom credits included Little Britain, Lead Balloon, Miranda and Mongrels and, in 2022, he reunited with Gervais on Netflix series After Life.

MacIntosh also had a small role in Yorgos Lanthimos’s film The Lobster (2015), playing a waiter opposite Colin Farrell and Olivia Colman.

‘The Office’ star Ewen MacIntosh has died aged 50 (Getty Images)
‘The Office’ star Ewen MacIntosh has died aged 50 (Getty Images)

As a comedian, MacIntosh had a double act with Tim FitzHigham , with whom he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007.

But it was as Keith that MacIntosh remained best remembered – something the actor had no problem with.

Speaking about being accidentally called by his character’s name when he first encountered people, including his fellow actors, MacIntosh told Vice in 2021: “I wouldn’t say it’s common, but it’s recurring. It’s even happened on sets, which is the last place you’d expect.

“They feel awful about it as well, which is amusing, because I’m not really that bothered.”

He also said he “can’t really complain” about Keith’s enduring popularity as “it’s made me money”. The actor, who would regularly send videos in character on the app Cameo, told the outlet that the sitcom “holds up well”, adding: “Long may it continue”.

Ewen MacIntosh dressed up as Ali G in ‘The Office’ (BBC)
Ewen MacIntosh dressed up as Ali G in ‘The Office’ (BBC)

Speaking about the demand on Cameo, MacIntosh said: “People always want a message from Keith, never from me. He’s still getting me work, which is quite amazing when you think about it. When the lockdowns started, I was doing about 30 a week. Now it’s down to maybe 10 or 20.”