Bill Bailey still 'ambushed' with grief two years after death of friend Sean Lock

Bill Bailey has revealed that he is still struggling with his grief over the loss of friend and fellow comedian Sean Lock two years after his death.

The 8 Out of 10 Cats team captain died aged 58 in 2021 following a battle with cancer.

Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Bailey, who is now 58 himself, laid bare his heartbreak during a fundraising event in which he helped raise almost £46,000 for childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish.

Addressing the crowd, the Bath-born star spoke of how he found his grief suddenly snuck up on him at unexpected moments, leaving him feeling "ambushed"."My friend Sean Lock died a few years ago," he began. "The nature of grief means that there are those moments that just they keep happening. Those triggers - you never know when they're going to arrive, and you know never know from what source they'll come or what the catalyst will be.

“They can sometimes just ambush. It's happened to me on a few occasions with Sean and it can be anything. Sometimes, I see something and think ‘Oh I should tell Sean’ and I go to text him. I see something funny and think that he’d like that. There’s a location, a piece of music, even a taste and it takes me back," he continued.

Giving an example of on such occasion, he said: “Sean and I used to walk a lot - long walks. I'd take the tea in the thermos, and he would take the picnic.

"He was very, very specific about what he wanted, a certain kind of bread certain kind of cheese and the other day I was with somebody who was doing exactly that, we were getting some cheese and bread out so and suddenly I’m transported to a field somewhere in Hertfordshire where Sean and I had sat for a picnic.

"Those moments are always with us, you don’t attribute them to a particular artifact, it’s the act of walking, laughing, those memories inhabit that space.”

Bailey went on to express how he found relief in writing following his bereavement, adding: “There's a complex relationship with the creative process because if you go through some traumatic event whether it's grief or anything else that could have a cauterizing effect on your emotions.

“Something I’ve noticed in myself is that when I had any experience of grief, I found that writing about it is a hugely beneficial way to access those feelings in a way that perhaps talking sometimes doesn’t give.

“I suppose even humour comes from hardship, doesn’t it? I've often had letters from people who say that they've been going through a tough time, and they come to a comedy show and they just feel like they’re getting out of themselves. Sometimes it's good to just have a laugh about something.”

If you know of a young person who is coping with the death of a significant individual, don't forget that Winston’s Wish supports youths and their families and is open to chat online, email or call for free to speak to a bereavement support worker by calling 08088 020 021, emailing or using the live chat at