Comic found dead

Ben D'Arcy was 33

Former comedian Benni Esposito has been found dead at the Dundee artist’s studio where he worked.

Esposito, who was 33, worked the comedy circuit under the stage name of Ben D’Arcy.

He started performing stand-up on the London stand-up scene in 1999, and performed a show at the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe called The Road From Dundee with fellow comic Graham Philips.

Philips said: "He was an excellent comedian, a brilliant painter and a wonderful person, it's a tragedy to be deprived of him so young. "

Benni had more recently given up comedy to concentrate on his burgeoning career as an artist. He had also enjoyed some acclaim in a band, Broccoli.

In an interview as he eased off performing comedy, he said: “I've drifted away from stand–up because the treadmill of the circuit had become a bit boring. I'll probably return when I have time to write a fresh new set. At the moment my painting dominates as it's become more successful."

Paying tribute to him on the Chortle forums, Glaswegian stand-up Janey Godley said: “This is very sad news. Benni was a really talented and funny guy. He will be very sadly missed.

And promoter Mac Star said: “Ben you were an inspiration to me in the short time I knew you. “

His body was found in the Wasps’ Artists Studios on Tuedsay and a post-mortem concluded that he died from a long-standing heart condition.

His brother Martin told the Dundee Courier said, “He died very suddenly but quite peacefully. We are all devastated.

“He had been concentrating more on the art side of his career recently and had an exhibition coming up in Shetland.

“I knew he was very popular but so many people have been telephoning—it’s been amazing.”

Hisgfuneral service takes place this Wednesday (12th) at 10.15 am at Dundee Crematorium. No flowers but donations to a local heart charity.

Published: 6 Jan 2005

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