Debbie McGee says Aherne was 'wonderful' as Mrs Merton

     ICONIC Caroline was part of The Royal Family

The Royle Family writer and actress Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away from cancer at age 52.

Coronation Street's Andrew Whyment, who starred alongside Aherne in The Royle Family, posted on social media that "it was a privilege to have worked with her".

The former star of the Mrs Merton Show, who beautifully mimicked a blue-rinse granny in the chat show which first aired on BBC Two in 1995, was voted best female performer at the British Comedy Awards the following year.

Little Britain and Shooting Stars actor Matt Lucas wrote: "Caroline Aherne moved television comedy on to a new place". That year her brother Patrick revealed "the form of lung cancer that she is suffering from is genetic and linked to the retinoblastoma she had as a baby".

The line went on to become regarded as one of the best interview questions of all time, synonymous with Caroline's sharp sense of humour.

A spokesperson at The Christie said: "We were very sad to hear the news that Caroline has died".

The actress, who narrated the Channel 4 show, has died at the age of 52.

Aherne was born to Irish immigrant parents in London, but grew up in Wythenshawe in Manchester.

One of her best-known lines resulted from Debbie McGee's appearance on the Mrs Merton Show.

Throughout her TV success, Aherne was outspoken about her battles with alcoholism and depression. "That's really done me in". A boss. A writer.

Taken in a very cold January, Caroline is seen wrapped up in a purple zip-up top, black leggings and a large coat with a fur-timmed hood.

A string of celebrities from the worlds of TV, comedy and entertainment have also paid tribute to Caroline in the wake of her death.

She appeared in the Fast Show along with Paul Whitehouse and Simon Day.

She once admitted alcohol was an attempt to block out her problems.

She played the family's feckless chain-smoking daughter Denise, whose idea of Christmas dinner included a Cup-a-Soup starter, Walls Vienneta dessert and a turkey defrosted in the bath. A friend. Big, big heart.

Omid Djalili described her as "such a amusing and talented woman" while David Baddiel said news of her death had "done me in". Her extraordinary work will be cherished by future generations.

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