Ian Cognito, a British comedian, died on Thursday, April 11 while performing on stage at the Atic Bar in Bicester, England. Cognito was 60 years old. The news of his passing was confirmed by Andrew Bird, who runs the Lonely Wolf Comedy Event, according to BBC News.
Cognito, whose real name is Paul Barbieri, even joked about dying on stage a few minutes prior.
“Imagine if I died in front of you lot here,” he told the crowd. Because of the joke earlier in the set, people had initially believed that he was pretending and faking the medical emergency. The crowd even began laughing as he lay dying on the stage.
“He was like his old self, his voice was loud. I was thinking ‘he’s having such a good gig’,” Bird said. “Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking. Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say ‘boo’.”
Cognito was pronounced dead at the scene after two off-duty nurses were unable to revive him with CPR.
— Daily Star (@dailystar) April 12, 2019
All of the information we know about Cognito’s passing can be seen below.
Ian Cognito Cause of Death: Heart Attack
Ian Cognito, born Paul Barbieri in 1958, was a British comedian of Irish and Italian descent. Cognito, who was known as Britain’s “most banned comic,” passed away on April 11 in Bicester, England. While performing a set at Atic Bar, Cognito suffered a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Members of the crowd initially thought Cognito was faking the situation as part of his set, but medical personnel eventually made their way to the stage and attempted to revive him with CPR.
Cognito was pronounced dead at the scene.
Our deepest condolences go out to Cognito’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time.