Ewen MacIntosh: The Office actor dies at 50

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Watch Big Keith's iconic Scotch Egg scene from The Office

Actor and comedian Evan Mackintosh, best known for his role as “Big Keith” on The Office, has died aged 50.

The character, Keith Bishop, was a scotch-egg-loving accountant who had a monotone answerphone message and had a career as a DJ.

MacIntosh also appeared in other British comedies, including Miranda and Little Britain.

Bishop, who worked for the fictional paper company Wernham Hawke, will be remembered for scenes such as dressing up as Ali G for Red Nose Day.

In his assessment, office manager David Brent, played by Ricky Gervais, lists his strengths and weaknesses.

Chewing gum Chewing gum and bored, Keith answered “don't know” to all the answers and listed eczema as his weakness and accounts as his strength.

MacIntosh appeared in two series of The Office, which first aired in 2001.

“We asked him to improvise a message outside the office, and he was so happy that we started writing more and more dialogues for him,” recalls the businessman.

“He quickly stole every scene he was in. Totally one time. A sad loss.”

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MacIntosh also appeared in other British comedies, including Miranda and Little Britain

In 2017, Mackintosh played Lionel in the British romantic comedy film Finding Fatima.

He also appeared in the final season of Ricky Gervais' Afterlife, playing the “Buffet Man” who is banned from his local all-you-can-eat restaurant.

“My first scene with Martin [Freeman]Where do I eat a scotch egg — we had trouble doing that for some reason,” he recalls.

“It took ages to do it. I got a lot of Scotch eggs. I wasn't told about it. The props guy bought them at the last minute.”

Actor Miranda Hart paid tribute to MacIntosh and said she was delighted they did a scene together in her BBC comedy show Miranda.

“We were the same age and crossed paths many times, and we did our best to have fun and make a living out of it.” she wrote on Instagram. “It's not always possible but we did it and I'm glad we did a scene together. Thanks xx.”

“We were lucky to have him appear in Little Britain,” she said. “He was sweet, smart, humble and, of course, brilliantly funny.”

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Office creator Ricky Gervais described Ewen Mackintosh as “a complete original”.

Actor Rufus Jones, who directed and wrote the comedy television series Home, called MacIntosh “an absolute delight of a guy”.

“A familiar and hilarious member of the Edinburgh sketch scene, we all started and went on to create one of the most famous scene stealers in TV comedy history,” He wrote in X.

MacIntosh, who studied at the University of Edinburgh and was active in its comedy group, performed at the Fringe Festival in 2007 as part of a double act with Tim FitzHigham.

In 2009, Chris appeared alongside other celebrities in a charity music video for Rea's Driving Home for Christmas.

TV Channel Gold tweeted: “We loved him as Keith in the office and were lucky enough to work with him at the channel for many years. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at such a difficult time.”

MacIntosh's friend Ed Scott said: “He may have had a famous face known to millions as Keith from The Office, but it was the person inside that I will remember most.

“Evan is very empathetic, compassionate and integrity and above all a good person.”

MacIntosh's cause of death has not been confirmed, but she died at Willow Green Care Home in Darlington.

Scott said: “Thanks to the incredible care and love provided by the wonderful medical staff and especially the nurses, who loved him when he brought a smile to their days.”

The actor's agency Just Right Management said there will be a private cremation for family and close friends, and a celebratory memorial service later in the year.

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