Wilko Johnson dead | Guitarist and Game of Thrones star dies aged 75

Wilko Johnson, the influential guitarist, singer and songwriter who was also known for starring in Game of Thrones, has died at the age of 75.

The news was confirmed on his social media, with a post saying: “This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. He passed away at home on Monday 21st November.

“Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.”

Johnson was best known as a member of the rhythm and blues group Dr. Feelgood in the 1970s, with whom he had a profound influence on the foundations of punk.

In the latter years of his career, he also turned his hand to acting, playing executioner Ser Ilyn Payne in seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones.

In 2013, Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with doctors predicting he had 10 months to live.

However, in 2014 he announced he was free from cancer, telling BBC News he had undergone an 11-hour operation to remove a tumor which “weighed 3kg”.

Wilko Johnson in Game of Thrones Cloud

“Anyway, they got it all. They cured me,” he said.

The guitarist said he had spent a year “calmly accepting the idea that I was going to die”, adding: “I decided that was the way to deal with it – not to curse it or fight it or anything like that. Just try and enjoy the time left, which I’d done.

“In order to do that, you have to accept, yes you’re going to die, which in itself was quite an experience because it gives you a whole different way of looking at things.

“And then for someone to come up and say ‘We can fix it’… When they first said they could operate, I was thinking, ‘What are they saying? They may be offering me two or three more months of life?’

“But no they weren’t, they were saying they could get rid of the tumor, and that’s what they did. And it’s gone. And I don’t have cancer.”

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