Caroline Aherne, the writer and actress of The Royle Family and Mrs Merton fame, has passed away aged 52.
Neil Reading, her publicist, said on Saturday: “Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away, after a brave battle with cancer.
“The Bafta award-winning writer and comedy actor died earlier today at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester.
“The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.”
She first became famous as the Checkout Girl in The Fast Show but became a household name as granny Mrs Merton in The Mrs Merton Show, which first aired on BBC Two in 1995.
She won best female performer at the British Comedy Awards in 1996.
The Royle Family was born after she and friend Craig Cash, who played gormless Dave Best in the show, threw themselves into their work after a suicide attempt.
The show dominated the 1999 British Comedy Awards, winning four. Aherne herself won best actress for her role as dippy daughter Denise.
The Mrs Merton Christmas Show won the best talk show Bafta in 1997 and The Royle Family took home the best sitcom award in 2000 and 2007.
Aherne was nominated for Baftas for her performance in both shows, as well as her directing of The Royle Family in 2001.
More recently, she could be heard, along with Cash, as the narrator of Channel 4 show Gogglebox.
Fellow comics have paid tribute to Ahern on Twitter.
David Baddiel paid tribute on Twitter writing: “The talent, you all knew about. But she was a really lovely woman. Vulnerable and complex and damaged but…lovely.”
David Walliams added: “Absolutely devastating news about Caroline Aherne. A true comedy genius, her work was equally funny & touching.”