Former co-stars pay tribute to Geoffrey Hughes – Daily TV round-up

TV stars have been paying tribute to actor Geoffrey Hughes, who died aged 68 after suffering from prostate cancer.

Tributes: Geoffrey Hughes (left) with the cast of 'Keeping Up Appearances'

Hughes starred as Eddie Yeats in 'Coronation Street' through the 70s and 80s, before going on to star as the slobbish Onslow in 'Keeping Up Appearances' in the 90s.

Patricia Routledge, who starred as social climber Hyacinth Bucket in the show, said: “I woke this morning and it was the first thing I heard on the news. I felt very, very sad. He was a most lovable man, just delightful and great fun to work with.

“He had a tremendous battle with the dreaded disease and I spoke to him a couple of times and he was positive. His whole attitude was positive and courageous. He did try to beat it and there were times when he did beat it over the last few years but it finally won.

“I will always think about him and how he was in rehearsals. He was just wonderful to have around. He never made a fuss and just got on with the work. He was a true professional.”

Fellow co-star Judy Cornwell, who played his wife Daisy in the show, added: “The first time we did a recording in front of an audience at the BBC we both climbed into bed and it collapsed on us.

“Both our legs went flying up in the air and it took the BBC ages to calm the audience down because everyone was laughing so much. They built the bed up again but that’s how our relationship started and continued – with a lot of laughs.

“He was a natural in the role. Nobody could have played 'Keeping Up Appearances’ Onslow better than him.”

Hughes was also known for playing Twiggy in 'The Royle Family', Vernon in 'Heartbeat' and more recently Uncle Keith in teen drama 'Skins'.

'Royle Family' star Ricky Tomlinson also expressed his sadness. “Geoff wasn’t just an actor. He was my mate,” he said.

“I used to call him every few weeks but hadn’t spoken to him in about a fortnight. It’s such a loss.”

Geoffrey Hughes had battled prostate cancer since 1996, and had also suffered a stroke, which had left him wheelchair-bound. He died at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice in Newport, on the Isle of Wight.

As well as appearing on TV, he also did much theatre work, with roles in Shakespeare’s 'The Tempest' and 'Henry V', as well as providing the voice for Paul McCartney in the animated film of 'Yellow Submarine'. [Daily Mirror]

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