Share this @internewscast.com
Holly Willoughby has paid tribute to This Morning’s medical expert Dr Uchenna Okoye who has tragically passed away after a ‘sudden illness’ aged 53.
The ‘kind and passionate’ Cosmetic Dentist made numerous appearances on the ITV show, offering advice to viewers at home. She was also a regular guest on 10 Years Younger in 10 Days, Daybreak, and BBC Breakfast.
A heartbreaking statement posted on Dr Uchenna’s Instagram said she had fallen ill at home on Friday September 15 and died shortly after. No cause of death has been provided by her family.
Willoughby, who worked with Dr Uchenna on This Morning, told her followers: ‘Unbelievably sad to hear of the passing of @druchennaokoye. We first worked together many moons ago with @oralb_uk and she was very kind to me… and then of course again, giving her advice on @thismorning. Sending all my love to her family.’
BBC radio presenter Jo Whiley wrote online: ‘Devastating news. Sending love to her daughter, family and London Smiling team. Strong, beautiful, funny Uchenna. Awful. Just awful.’
TV presenter Donna Air posted: ‘What?! No, I’m so confused. How, why… her daughter!! Shocked and saddened.’
Dr Uchenna, who qualified at the prestigious Guy’s Hospital in London, ran two dental practices and owned a line of specialist dental products.
She was one of a small group of dentists to belong to both the British and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Outside of directing the London Smiling Dental Group, she regularly appeared on television and radio to provide expert advice. She also was the official dentist of Channel 5’s makeover programme 10 Years Younger.
This Morning’s medical expert Dr Uchenna Okoye has tragically passed away after a ‘sudden illness’ aged 53
This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby has led tributes to Dr Uchenna, who she described as ‘very kind’
Willoughby posted on Instagram this evening after Dr Uchenna’s family revealed the tragic news of her passing
Dr Uchenna’s family posted a heartbreaking statement on her Instagram earlier this evening
Presenter Cherry Healey of the Channel 5 programme also paid tribute to Dr Uchenna.
‘There aren’t really the right words to say how much this absolute force of a human being will be missed and how sad this news is.
‘I was so fortunate to work with Dr Uchenna on @10yearsyounger for many happy years, and to then got to know her as a beautiful friend.
‘She spoke with such passion and love for the people she helped smile again – and she was the warmest, smartest, most fun woman you could wish to meet,’ she wrote on Instagram this evening.
Dr Uchenna’s husband Chidi Ngwaba is a doctor who specialises in lifestyle medicine, helping patients who suffer from diabetes, autoimmune diseases and obesity.
He has also appeared on televisions, including ITV’s Good Morning Britain and the BBC’s Food: Truth or Scare.
The couple share a young daughter.
Announcing Dr Uchenna’s tragic passing, her family wrote earlier this evening: ‘It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of the much loved and respected Cosmetic Dentist, Dr Uchenna Okoye, who passed away after falling ill at home on Friday 15th September 2023.
‘At this time, we ask for your prayers for her young daughter, her family, her team of staff at London Smiling Dental Group and her friends who are all struggling to come to terms with her loss.
‘We request that you respect Uchenna’s family’s wishes for privacy at this very difficult time.
‘The Uchenna sparkle touched the lives of everyone she met and drew her into stardom on 10 Years Younger makeover show, followed by 10 Years Younger in 10 Days where her passion and compassion leaps off the screen.
‘For the last twenty years, her deep knowledge of dentistry and her incredible chair-side manner made her the go-to spokeswoman for any dental issue and a popular contributor to radio, TV, and women’s consumer press,’ it continued.
Tributes from viewers have poured in for the TV regular with one fan writing: ‘That’s absolutely devastating… sending much love to her family.’
Another wrote: ‘Am absolutely heartbroken to read this. I adored Uchenna. I can’t really process this awful news.’
A third commented: ‘Beautiful Uchenna! An industry beacon who quickly became a friend to many of us. So warm, generous and funny.
‘Sending condolences to her family and friends.’
Another follower wrote: ‘Devastating news. My love and prayers to her family.
Dr Uchenna ran two dental practices in London and owned a line of specialist dental products
The Cosmetic Dentist made numerous appearances on television and radio, offering specialist advice to viewers. She is pictured here on Daybreak
‘We will all miss your infectious energy and warmth.’
While someone else shared: ‘Absolutely shocked about this devastating news! I still can’t believe it.
‘She was the kindest, loveliest person who I knew briefly. Rest in peace and my condolences to your family and your little girl.’
The news comes just days after Holly Willoughby and This Morning led the tributes to guest Matty Lock after he suddenly died aged 19.
Holly and co-presenter Dermot O’Leary paid tribute to a ‘truly unique’ and ‘lovely’ member of the studio.
The ‘delightful’ teenager regularly appeared on the show to review vacuum cleaners, which he had become obsessed with since the age of two when he received his first toy Henry hoover.
The popular youngster was also a member of the Labour Party and recently spoke of his pride at becoming councillor in his hometown of Maghull, Merseyside.
Sharing the news at the start of Monday’s programme, Dermot said: ‘One of the This Morning family members Matty Lock – you might remember Matty – sadly passed away this weekend.’
Sad news: Holly Willoughby and Dermot O’Leary led an emotional to ‘ a lovely guy’ and ‘much loved’ member of the team Matty Lock
Passing over: Matthew Lock, 19, known as Matty sadly passed away suddenly at the age of 19
Passion: Matty had an ‘infectious passion’ for gadgets and was fascinated with vacuum cleaners since the age of two
Willoughby added: ‘He was a much-loved member of our team who never failed to bring joy and more to our studio with an infectious passion for gadgets and technology. He was truly unique.’
O’Leary continued: ‘Yeah, bless him. His love for vacuum cleaners started when he was just two years old when he received his first toy Henry.
‘He then went on to become a politician, a campaigner and a much loved member of this show. He’s a lovely guy.’
‘Matthew will be missed by all of us here and we extend our deepest condolences to his family. It was incredibly sad, shocking news to get yesterday’, finished Willoughby.
Matty regularly appeared on This Morning from a young age, including at the age of 15 where he had a segment revealing the best hoovers to buy that summer.
Private £4,569-a-term day school, Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School, in Crosby, Liverpool, shared his appearance on the show on its website at the time.
Matty alongside Holly Willoughby and former presenter Phillip Schofield. He appeared on the show aged 15 in a segment reviewing the best hoovers to buy
The news of the former private schoolboy’s death was confirmed by friend and Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson. He wrote on X: ‘Many people will be devastated by the news that @CllrMLock passed away’
Matty last posted on his Facebook page in April where he spoke of how he had ‘hit the ground running in delivering for Maghull and residents’ concerns and priorities’ since he had been elected.
At the age of 13 Matty had amassed 150 vacuums as part of his collection.
He became interested in vacuums aged two when he got his first toy Henry. By the age of five he was hoovering the family home.
Speaking at the time, he said he was cleaning up by fixing old machines and selling them while carrying out repairs on every cleaner on the market.
He said: ‘I remember in year four or five having a rough idea how to take them apart and looking into how to make them run, that’s when the collecting started.
‘I started finding machines, getting parts and being able to put them together to make a new vacuum.
‘I became more and more interested in getting rarer machines.
‘I like the way they work and seeing how they can be improved. I like seeing how they’ve advanced over the years – different machines do different jobs.
This Morning said ‘his family came to the studio and they were so proud that he’d turned a childhood hobby into a career. We will miss him’
‘I get them off eBay or on Facebook selling sites. I find them in skips and people have even started leaving them outside my back door.
‘Some of the Henrys I have are 40 years old. I like to fix them but if they’re beyond repair I will make a good one out of two hoovers.
‘My collection is mostly Henrys and Dysons. I’ve got original versions which are made out of metal and Bakelite. My collection is well into the hundreds now.
‘They are all in my workshop in my garden which is where I do all my vacuum repairs.’
He spent around ten hours a week fixing broken vacuums, and estimated he had fixed around 500 and sold 300 machines.
From the money he made out of selling on the fixed machines, he reinvested the cash into more broken vacuums.
He added: ‘I just find it so satisfying getting them from places like builder’s yards where they’re full of plaster – being able to clean them up, make them look nice and get them up to a really good standard.’