This Country actor Michael Sleggs dead at 33: BBC Three star passes away of ‘heart failure’
- Michael is believed to have passed away overnight after suffering ‘heart complications’
- In May, the actor revealed he was dying following a ‘fairly rapid’ deterioration and had been placed in palliative care
- In June, he shared an update with his fans, revealing he was suffering from heart failure and not cancer
- He was beloved for playing Michael ‘Slugs’ Slugette in the BBC Three comedy and was a long-time friend of show creators Charlie and Daisy May Cooper
- Tributes have come flooding in from the late star’s friends and colleagues
This Country star Michael Sleggs has died aged 33.
The actor, beloved for playing Michael ‘Slugs’ Slugette in the BBC Three comedy, passed away overnight after suffering ‘complications’ following a battle with heart failure.
The WTAF A This Country podcast’s Twitter account shared the news, writing: ‘We are devastated! Our friend, the man the legend Michael Sleggs #Slugs passed away last night. RIP Michael. You are one in a million.’
Heartbreaking: This Country star Michael Sleggs has passed away from ‘heart failiure’ aged 33. The star was beloved for playing Michael ‘Slugs’ Slugette in the BBC Three comedy
Michael appeared in seven episodes of the award-winning BBC Three comedy and is a long-time friend of show creators Charlie and Daisy May Cooper.
In a sad twist of fate, his character Slugs was also battling a terminal illness.
A BBC Radio Gloucestershire tweet confirmed his death. It reads ‘Actor Michael Sleggs has died. The 33-year-old from Cirencester played Slugs in BBC comedy This Country. He revealed in May he was receiving palliative care for heart failure.’
This Country’s producer, Simon Mayhew-Archer, paid tribute to Michael on Twitter, writing: ‘Michael encapsulated the spirit and humour of This Country.
‘He was a fantastic, talented man who brought tremendous joy to all who knew him & saw him. I loved working with him & will miss him.’
His close friend Camilla-Alicia Bates shared: ‘Last night just before midnight I lost my dear friend, My love @Michael_Sleggs my absolute rock who has always been there for me.
‘So grateful I got to spend his final resting with him and so glad he is out of pain and at peace. I love you forever. #loveyou #rip #sluggs.’
In May, Michael revealed he was terminally ill following a ‘fairly rapid’ deterioration, later clarifying he was suffering from heart failiure.
Posting on his Facebook page, Michael wrote: ‘Hi friends, as a lot of you are probably aware I’ve spent a lot of time in and out of hospital over the past few months.
Sad announcement: The WTAF A This Country podcast’s official Twitter account confirmed the news, as tributes came flooding in for the actor
‘I love you forever’: ‘So grateful I got to spend his final resting with him and so glad he is out of pain and at peace’, his friend shared
‘This last time it was decided i was reaching the end of options so they’ve sent me home on palliative care to live out the remainder of my days at home.
‘No specific time limit has been given but deterioration has been fairly rapid.
‘I’ve been sleeping a lot and narrowly dodged a coma by accidentally overdosing on morphine the other day.
‘Anyway as you can imagine this isn’t the ideal way I wished things to go and my family are dealing with a lot of grief.
‘Just wanted to say I love everyone reading this status so much, you have all been such amazing, kind, caring people who have all touched my life in so many unique and incredible ways.
Paying tribute: Michael’s friends paid their respects to the star following the tragic news
This Country: Michael is best known for playing Michael ‘Slugs’ Slugette in the award-winning BBC 3 comedy
Emotional post: The actor made the news public in May by sharing a moving statement with his friends and followers on Facebook
‘Sorry if this status is too shmaltzy but not everyone has the chance to say goodbye so indulge me lol.’
Michael revealed his Christian faith had helped him come to terms with his diagnosis and he was taking comfort from his religious beliefs.
‘If you’re wondering why I’m not sounding freaked out by the whole situation’, he continued.
‘Well, initially I was, but, as always in a time of crisis (should have been way before I’m ashamed to say) I turned to God and my Christian faith.
‘Been reading the Bible daily, listening to Christian songs and sermons and its changed my entire mindset to nothing but peace and gratitude.
‘Guys, regardless of a few medical issues, I have been blessed with the best life and the best friends and aside from not following God more diligently earlier in life I dont have any regrets.
‘If you dont know Jesus already, my only hope is that you get to know him before you get to my state. He’ll totally rock your world in the best way!’
Acting debut: The seven episode role was Michael’s first foray into acting and won him a legion of fans. He is a long-time friend of show creators and stars Charlie and Daisy May Cooper (pictured together)
On June 1, he shared an update with his fans, revealing he was suffering from heart failure and not cancer.
He wrote: ‘Recently I was put onto palliative care [because] my heart failure was getting out of control.
‘By last Friday I was certain I wouldn’t be here the next week but miraculously I made some sort of great turn around over the weekend.
‘I don’t know how long this turn around will last but I’ll try and keep alive as long as I can.’
Michael had previously suffered from cancer 18 years ago, but has kept his struggles out of the limelight.
He had recently been keeping his Instagram followers updated on his health battle, writing on 1 March, ‘I think I’m starting to run out of lives.’
A BBC spokesperson has been approached for comment by MailOnline.
The sad news comes shortly after Michael signed a deal with Austin Macaulay Publishers to publish his first book, an ‘entertaining and irreverent’ autobiography called Memoirs Of A 90s School Boy.
At peace: Michael revealed his Christian faith had helped him come to terms with his health troubles and he was taking comfort from his religious beliefs
The book is billed as ‘a comedy/biography about my time at primary school and the different people I met there’.
On mockumentary This Country, which began airing in 2017, Slugs was introduced as the dull friend of central characters Kerry and Kurtan, who was battling terminal cancer.
What is heart failure?
Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly due to becoming too weak or stiff.
It can happen at any age, but is more common in older people.
A long-term condition, it tends to get worse over time.
While it can’t usually be cured, the symptoms can be controlled for years.
These include breathlessness after activity or at rest, feeling tired most of the time, swollen ankles and legs.
Other symptoms can include a persistent cough, a fast heart rate and dizziness.
He then begins a relationship with Kayleigh (Celeste Dring) after competing for the village newcomer’s affections with love rival Kurtan.
One memorable scene sees cousins Kurtan and Kerry shun poor Slugs as he tries to convince them to go to Laser Quest with him, on a mission to tick off another item from his ‘cancer bucket list’.
Kerry moans: ‘Oh s**t it’s Slugs… The thing is, he’ll trap you for ages, he’ll never leave.
‘I should feel sorry for him because he’s got terminal cancer, but he’s so utterly annoying! If you want to do a bucket list that’s fine, but don’t drag us into it.’
Show creators the Coopers based the lovable character on Sleggs himself, but Michael didn’t notice the resemblance at first.
Charlie previously told Cotswolds Life: ‘He didn’t realise the character was anything to do with him. He went up to Daisy during filming and goes, “I know who the character is based on.”
‘And Daisy’s like, “Yeah I’m sorry mate, I hope you’re all right with that.” And he said, “It’s Paul Fisher isn’t it?”’
Role: On This Country, Slugs was introduced as a friend of This Country’s central characters Kerry and Kurtan and began a relationship with Kayleigh (Celeste Dring, pictured)
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