McCririck, who was known for his outlandish dress sense, was an integral part of racing coverage on British television in his role as betting guru for ITV and then Channel 4 Racing.
The pundit and CBB star has been dogged by health issues in recent years and chillingly said last year he would not live to see another summer.
A rep for the broadcaster told Metro:
‘Award winning journalist, broadcaster and for many years the face of British horse racing, John McCririck, passed away at a London hospital on Friday 5th July aged 79.
Back in October 2018, the racing broadcasting legend said he didn’t expect to be alive by that time this year.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, John said:
‘What purpose is there in going on if you’re not working?
‘Racing was my life but now when I go I think: “What am I doing here?” I feel like a dinosaur. You’re a lost soul wandering around an environment you’re no longer part of.’
John continued: ‘Life is empty. I don’t expect to be alive this time next year. It’s a question of slipping away.
Ascot Racecourse released a statement saying it is “deeply saddened” by the death of McCririck.
“Everyone at Ascot is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John McCririck,” it tweeted.
“He was an unmistakable presence in racing, and one of the most impactful broadcasters of his generation.”
One of his close friends, Roger Easterby, said: “John was often referred to as being like Marmite, but I believe people genuinely liked him. He was kind, generous and knew his subject inside out.”
McCririck is survived his wife of 48 years, Jenny, who he often referred to by the nickname “The Booby”.
More to follow