Former River City star Andy Gray has sadly died at the age of 61. 

It is understood that the Perth-born actor passed away at the weekend. 

The on-screen star left River City in 2018 due to a battle with MDS, otherwise known as Myelodysplastic syndromes - a rare type of blood cancer that causes a person's bone marrow to stop producing healthy blood cells. 

Glasgow Times:

Gray, who played Pete Galloway in BBC's River City was also seen on-screen as "Chancer" in 1987 sitcom City Lights. 

Outwith acting, he was recognised for his work in pantomime, usually co-writing the script often alongside other former City Lights cast members.

Gray's former colleagues have since paid him heartfelt tributes to him, with BBC Scotland Director Steve Carson describing him as "one of the kindest people" to work with in production.

Glasgow Times:

He said: “We are deeply saddened by the news that one of Scotland’s much-loved comedy actors and close friend to many at BBC Scotland, Andy Gray has passed away.

"Among many roles for the BBC he will always be lovingly remembered as audience favourites, the iconic ‘Chancer’ in City Lights and the silver tongued entertainer Pete Galloway in River City.

"On-screen and in person he could always make you laugh and was one of the kindest people to have around on any production.  Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Gayle Telfer Stevens – River City’s Caitlin McLean who was married on-screen to Andy’s character, Pete Galloway, added: “Andy was, and will remain, a national treasure. Not only was he an exceptional actor and entertainer who brought so much joy to so many people, he was an extraordinary man.

"When you were in his presence you could feel it was of greatness. The kindest, clever, funny beyond measure, beautiful man. One of the finest our country has ever had the pleasure to experience and we were so lucky to have had the time we did with you.

"Andy – you will be achingly missed. Your laugh will echo in Scotland’s heart and you will never be forgotten. Love you forever.”

Glasgow Times:

BBC Scotland's Executive Producer for River City, Martin McCardie, revealed how Gray had "unfinished business" on River City as the team hoped to welcome him back to film before the end of the current series.

He said: “Everyone at River City, all cast and crew are devastated to hear the extremely sad news that Andy Gray passed away this morning. When Andy joined River City in 2016 he had an extremely successful stage, TV and film career behind him, but the character of Pete Galloway turned out to be one of the most popular characters ever to pass through Shieldinch.

"His infectious enthusiasm for his work had an influence on all those who worked with him, he became a mainstay of the production, his trials and tribulations with the love of his life Caitlin McLean, became some of the best material ever to be broadcast by the show."

He added: "Andy took ill in 2018 and he had to leave the show and he had a difficult time, his ongoing recovery was borne with humour and gratitude for what he had, he had unfinished business on River City and we were looking forward to welcoming him back to film with us before the end of the current series.

"His loss will be felt throughout our production and he will never be forgotten by all who knew him, but that is nothing compared to the loss that his family and partner are feeling now, all our thoughts and sympathies are with them.”