Caroline Aherne: Royle Family writer and actress dies aged 52

Caroline Aherne Image copyright PA

Comedian Caroline Aherne, who wrote and appeared in sitcom The Royle Family, has died at the age of 52.

Aherne, who also starred in Mrs Merton, had suffered from cancer, her publicist said.

The actress said two years ago that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer, having previously had bladder and eye cancer.

Aherne was also the narrator of Gogglebox and appeared in The Fast Show.

Her publicist Neil Reading 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. She was 52.

“The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.”

‘Wonderful talent’

Tributes have been paid to Aherne from fellow comics.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss said Aherne was “so gifted” as he shared the “awful news”.

Little Britain star David Walliams said on Twitter: “Absolutely devastating news about Caroline Aherne. A true comedy genius, her work was equally funny & touching.”

Jenny Eclair wrote: “Poor dear Caroline Aherne, how terribly sad.”

Comedian Sarah Millican said: “So sad. What a wonderful talent she was.”

Aherne was born in London but grew up in Wythenshawe, Manchester.

She studied drama at Liverpool Polytechnic then started work as a secretary at the BBC before finding national fame in 1994 with Mrs Merton, in which she starred as the eponymous chat show host, and The Fast Show.

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