A GOGGLEBOX star who hosted a Christmas comedy show in memory of her father said it was an “amazing” night, despite several last-minute cancellations.

Alex Michael, who appeared on Channel 4's hit show Gogglebox with her family for several years, said it was an emotional occasion but one full of laughs as they remembered Andrew Michael, who died in August following a short illness.

The comedy night, which was at Komedia in Gardner Street, Brighton, was raising money for the British Heart Foundation and NHS Sussex Hospitals Trust.

Alex, 31, said it was more stressful than anticipated after four of her eight comedians dropped out, including one on the day of the show, as well as about 40 people with tickets due to fears about rising Covid cases.

But she said the show went on and four more comedians stepped in last minute to provide a fantastic night for a packed-out venue, raising around £1,500 in total for charity.

Alex said: “It was a hard night because I put a lot of effort into it, I wanted it to be a success but also at the same time I had my dad in my mind the whole time.

“As much as I was laughing at the comedians doing an amazing job on stage, I was also thinking of him. It was a strange feeling to be happy and laughing, proud of myself for such a successful night while also remembering why I was doing it.”

The Argus: From left, siblings Louis, Katy, dad Andrew, Alex and Pascal MichaelFrom left, siblings Louis, Katy, dad Andrew, Alex and Pascal Michael

Alex said this first Christmas will be a tough one for her family, who live in Brighton, after Andrew's death, but added she wants to use it as an opportunity to be grateful for the people around her.

She said: “I don’t think any of us are particularly looking forward to Christmas this year for that very reason. It’s going to be a small one this year. We’re not doing anything too fancy.

“We will remember and be grateful for the family we do have and for everyone that is still around us. Christmas for me is a time to be grateful more than anything else so it just puts that in even more perspective.”

The Argus: Two of the comedians performing on TuesdayTwo of the comedians performing on Tuesday

Alex was full of praise for the comedians who stepped in at the 11th hour to help ensure the show was so successful.

She said: “The last thing I wanted was for people to be uncomfortable so there was no hard feelings, but a massive shout out to the four comedians who took their place. It was the day after my birthday so rather than have a nice relaxing day, it was spent trying to find replacements for the show.”

The Michaels first appeared on Gogglebox in the debut episode in 2013, but announced in 2014 that they were leaving as Andrew was running for Ukip in the general election.

After he failed to secure the Hastings and Rye seat, the family returned for future episodes.

In August, Gogglebox announced the retired hotelier had died with his family by his side.

Andrew had appeared on the show alongside his wife Carolyne and children Alex and Louis, with their two other children Katy and Pascal also making appearances over the years. They are not returning to the series.

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