His friend Imad Handi announced the news in a statement saying: “David was a natural star and a genuine celebrity. I will miss his desperately.”
Former I’m A Celebrity… star Gest was once married to Liza Minnelli and was also known for being a close friend of the late Michael Jackson.
The TV personality recently gained a following in Britain when he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.
Friend Imad Handi said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today.
“David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon.
“I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners.
“If I may steal the words of one eminent critic, David was a natural star and a genuine celebrity. I will miss him desperately.”
It is thought Gest died at the Four Seasons Hotel in east London this morning.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at 10:17am on Tuesday 12 April to the Four Seasons hotel, in Westferry Circus, E14, to reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s.
“London Ambulance Service were called to the scene. Life was pronounced extinct at the hotel.
“A post-mortem will be held in due course. Next of kin are in the process of being informed.”
Gest was due to tour the United Kingdom in a musical show called David Gest Is Not Dead, But Alive With Soul, starting in York on July 1.
The name was inspired by an incident in the Celebrity Big Brother House when American reality star Tiffany Pollard mistakenly believed Gest had died rather than David Bowie.
Gest appeared on the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother in January but left the house after less than a week due to “medical reasons”.
His fellow housemates including Gemma Collins, Megan McKenna and Christopher Maloney took to Twitter to pay tribute to him after hearing the news.