TV chef Gary Rhodes, known for his appearances on MasterChef and Hell's Kitchen, has died at the age of 59 after suddenly taking ill.

The well-known restaurateur died unexpectedly with his wife by his bedside in Dubai, according to reports.

In a statement, the family of Gary Rhodes said: "The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE.

"Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26th November 2019, at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Jennie by his side.

"The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time." 

Gary Rhodes during Gary Rhodes - Cookware Launch And Photocall at Harrods in London

A statement from the hotel where he worked said: "The team at Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa are devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Chef Gary Rhodes OBE.

"Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend.

"No words can express our sadness at Gary's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhodes family."

Chef Gary Rhodes host of the BBC2 TV series More Rhodes Around Britain in 1995

The father-of-two, famous for his gelled spiky hair, was a household name in the early 2000s, and fronted shows such as Masterchef and Hells Kitchen. In 2006, he competed in the BBC's Great British Menu. 

Rhodes earned a record five Michelin Stars throughout his career. He was the author of more than 18 cookery books.

 Gary Rhodes meets sports stars Greg Rusedski and Graeme Le Saux

In 2008, he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, but was the third celebrity to be voted off. He moved to Dubai in 2011.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver paid tribute to Rhodes on Instagram, saying he was "a fantastic chef" and "a massive inspiration to me as a young chef".

 "Sadly Chef Gary Rhodes OBE passed away. My heart felt sympathies to his wife , kids, friends and family, sending love and thoughts," he posted online.

He added: "Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking, he was a massive inspiration to me as a young chef. He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. rest in peace Chef." 

Candice Brown, winner of the seventh series of The Great British Bake Off, recalled how she took inspiration from Rhodes' baking.

"So so sad to hear about Gary Rhodes. His banana and syrup loaf was the first thing I baked all on my own. The pages are stuck together with syrup 💔 So much love to his family #garyrhodes".

Spandau Ballet's Steve Norman said he was "shocked and sad to hear of this gent's passing".

Chef and television presenter, James Martin, said Rhodes was "hugely influential" in his life.

Can't Cook, Won't Cook and Ready Steady Cook star, Ainsley Harriott, praised Rhodes for being "a true culinary icon".

Chef Brian Turner, who worked with Rhodes early in his career, called him "one of England's great chefs".

Gordon Ramsay said Rhodes was "a fantastic chef" who "put British Cuisine on the map".

Restaurateur, Simon Rimmer, best known for his on-screen partnership with Tim Lovejoy, said Rhodes was a "lovely man" who gave "great advice".

Masterchef judge Monica Galetti said she was "so honoured to have known" Rhodes.

Actor and writer, Kadiff Kirwan, told a heartwarming story about Kirwan's kindness and generosity.