Bobby Ball, one half of comedy double act Cannon & Ball, has died at the age of 76 after testing positive for Covid-19, his manager has said.
The comedian was taken into Blackpool Victoria Hospital with breathing problems, but died on Wednesday evening.
A statement on behalf of Ball's wife Yvonne, his family and his long-time comedy partner Tommy Cannon said he passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday evening at around 9.30pm.
The statement from Ball's manager Phil Dale said: "Bobby had been taken to the hospital for tests as he started with breathing problems. At first it was thought to be a chest infection but a test proved positive for Covid-19.
"His wife Yvonne said the hospital and staff could not have been more wonderful, as they were outstanding in their care of duty and they did everything possible for him and she cannot praise them enough.
"She said that the family and Tommy would like to express their sincere thanks to the many, many people who have been fans of Bobby and they know that they will all share in part the great loss and total sadness that Yvonne, the family and Tommy all feel.
"Yvonne added that their need for privacy at this time has to be a priority. No further announcements or statements will be made."
Echoing one of Ball's famous catchphrases - "Rock on Tommy!" - Cannon, who first teamed up with Ball in the early 1960s, said: "Rock on, my good friend, I can't believe this, I'm devastated."