Gogglebox star Stephen Webb opens up about the tragic death of his brother from heroin
One of Gogglebox‘s most popular personalities, Stephen Webb, has revealed how he will “never get over” the heartache of his brother’s death, which was caused by a heroin overdose 12 years ago.
The 44-year-old, who appears on the show with his friend and fellow hairdresser Chris Steed, made the revelation about his brother in his new book We Need To Talk, and describes how his whole family are still struggling to come to terms with the tragic loss.
In the book, which was co-written with Chris, Stephen recalls smoking cannabis with his brother as early as nine years old. Although he was able to kick the habit, his brother Paul’s drug use escalated dramatically over the years until he died at the young age of 32.
Stephen wrote: “He died twelve years ago from a heroin overdose and it’s something my family will never get over.
“When we were kids Paul was always getting into trouble. We smoked our first joint together in our local park when I was nine and he was ten.”
He continued: “That was the first time I’d heard of or experienced drugs, but Paul was a law unto himself and as he got older he started to experiment more. He lived how he wanted to live and he didn’t want to conform.”
“As we got older, Paul started to get into trouble with the police, and he also started doing harder drugs. We found out he was smoking heroin when he was in his mid twenties. He met a girl and had three kids and he packed the drugs in, but when they split up he went back to using needles.”
When Paul died, Stephen and his devastated family were forced to identify the body after learning of his death from his sister; something Stephen admits he will never fully recover from.
“I called her and she said to me, ‘Paul’s dead’. I was so shocked I fell to the floor. He was only 32.
“We had to ID him. We were asked to identify him from behind a glass screen. I remember saying to the coroner, ‘Why is he so brown? He’s only just come out of prison?’
“It’s weird what goes through your head at stressful times. The coroner said that there was such a huge amount of heroin in his system that she didn’t think he’d done it by mistake.”
Stephen added: “He’d been taking heroin for many years and he would have known that amount would be fatal. He also had a litre of whiskey in him. She explained that he would have gone to sleep and his heart would have got slower and slower until it eventually stopped, so he didn’t feel any pain. That was a bit of comfort.”
The awful ordeal concluded with Stephen’s family laughing about their memories of Paul, before bursting into tears: “The coroner must have thought we were mad.”
Gogglebox continues Friday on Channel 4 at 9pm.