Stand-up comedian Ian Cognito dies on stage after suffering heart attack

Tributes have poured in for the popular comedian

Stand-up comedian Ian Cognito, real name Paul Barbieri, has passed away after suffering a heart attack on stage.

The comedian fell ill during a performance yesterday (April 11) at the Lone Wolf Comedy Club Night at The Atic Bar in Bicester.

According to BBC News, the veteran comic silently “sat on a chair and laid back for five minutes” with audience members initially thinking that it was “part of the act” before realising he had fallen ill.

South Central Ambulance Service later confirmed that Cognito was pronounced dead at the scene. He had reportedly been taking medication for a heart condition.

Tributes for the well-respected, cult comedian have poured in on social media with Luisa Omelian, Jimmy Carr and Elis James among those paying tribute. You can read some of the many tributes to Cognito here:

According to members of the audience, staff tried to resuscitate him at the scene whilst waiting for an ambulance to arrive. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Paying tribute, Louisa Omelian 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 fucking legend. Far far too soon. Love to his family.”

Jimmy Carr added: “Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage – literally. The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was.”

Cognito, known as ‘Cogs’ on the comedy circuit, had been performing live since the mid 1980’s and was a respected figure on the comedy circuit. The London-born comic also won a Time Out award for comedy in 1999.