Veteran entertainer Barry Chuckle, one half of the Chuckle Brothers comedy act, has died aged 73.
The comedian died peacefully at home surrounded by his family, his manager Phil Dale said.
His partner in the Chuckle Brothers, Paul, said: “I’ve not just lost my brother, I’ve lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend.”
The duo shot to fame with their slapstick comedy and catchphrase “to me, to you”.
Barry and Paul had recently filmed a new series called ChuckleTime for Channel 5.
Barry – whose real surname was Elliott – had not been well towards the end of the filming.
Summer work was cancelled after his doctor told him to rest but his health continued to deteriorate.
The Chuckle Brothers, from Rotherham, south Yorkshire, won the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967 and their BBC show ChuckleVision ran for 21 series from 1987 to 2009.
The pair made a TV comeback on Chuckle Time, which featured the brothers performing comedy sketches and introduce humorous online videos from the public.
The pair were awarded a BAFTA Special Award in 2008 for their contribution to children’s television.
A tribute on the official BAFTA twitter page said: “We’re deeply saddened to learn of the death of Barry Elliot, known as Barry Chuckle.”
The duo were keen supporters of their local football team Rotherham United and were made honorary presidents in 2007.
The club posted a tribute on their social media page that said: “Everyone at #rufc are deeply saddened this morning to learn of the passing of our life president, supporter and friend Barry ‘Chuckle’ Elliott, aged 73.
“Our thoughts are with Barry’s family and friends, including his brother Paul, at this sad time. #OnceAMillerAlwaysAMiller.”
Other tributes have been pouring in following the star’s death.
CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis wrote on social media: “On screen he was hilarious, on stage even more so but off stage Barry was also the kindest of gentlemen.
“RIP Barry. Love to all his family including all the brothers.”
Rapper Tinchy Stryder, who collaborated with the Chuckle Brothers on a song called To Me, To You (Bruv) in 2014, wrote: “Funny, down to earth, super cool, talented, humble legend. Rest in peace Barry Chuckle!”
Phoenix Nights star and Take Me Out presenter Paddy McGuinness tweeted: “One of my favourites from childhood years, teenage years and as an adult! Gutted. Barry Chuckle RIP sir.”
Former Family Fortunes presenter and actor Les Dennis added his tribute to Elliott, highlighting the double act’s extensive stage work during their long career.