Sean Hughes, the Perrier Award-winning stand-up best known for his appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and his own sitcom Sean's Show, has died aged 51.

The comedian was believed to have been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and was recently taken to north London's Whittington Hospital.

Hughes became one of the youngest ever winners of the prestigious Perrier award in 1990, but shot to household name status as captain on the long-running BBC music quiz show.

He also made several appearances as actor later on in his career, including playing comedian and writer Tony Hawks in his adaption of Round Ireland with a Fridge and ITV's The Last Detective as well as a minor role in the cult 1991 movie The Commitments.

Hughes first developed a cult following on TV after writing and starring in the sitcom Sean's Show, one of the first attempts at a stand-up-led scripted show on UK television, in which he played a fictionalised version of himself. It was nominated the 1992 British Comedy Award for Best Channel 4 Sitcom.

Hughes also appeared in several theatre productions, including performing in the West End in As You Like It with Sienna Miller and starring as star as Mr Perks in the Olivier Award-winning production of Mike Kenny's stage adaptation of E. Nesbit's novel The Railway Children in 2015.

In 2011, he appeared on an all-comedians episode of Come Dine with Me, alongside Paul Tonkinson, Gina Yashere and Duncan "Chase Me" Norvelle.

His former promoter Richard Bucknall paid tribute to Hughes. He told Beyond the Joke: "He was a pioneering, groundbreaking comedian who changed comedy with that live show."

Hughes confirmed his illness by sending a tweet reading "in hospital" on 8 October in what would be his final post on the social network.

Sean Hughes
Sean Hughes pictured in 2008 Getty

Fellow comedians and writers also paid tribute the Hughes following his death. Jason Manford said via Twitter: "Very sad to hear about Sean Hughes. A brilliant comic and a lovely bloke. RIP."

David Schneider added: "So sad about Sean Hughes. Such an engagingly funny man."

In an article for the Irish Times in 2014, Hughes wrote about his friends became "uncomfortable" when he stopped drinking after it made them "question their own habits".

He wrote: "What is it about the Irish and boozing? Does it come from our grand tradition of needing to speak with a drink in our hand? Maybe it comes from the fact that alcohol was put out of our reach when we were kids. We all want what we can't have."