Little And Large comedian Eddie Large has died aged 78 from coronavirus, his son confirmed today.
The icon, who is best known for his comedic partnership with Syd Little, had been in hospital with heart failure, before contracting the deadly Covid-19 virus.
His son, Ryan McGinnis, posted on Facebook: ‘It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to annunce that my dad passed away in the early hours of this morning.
‘He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the coronavirus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight.
‘Dad had fought bravely for so long. Due to this horrible disease we had been unable to visit him at the hospital but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day.
‘We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.’
Along with Syd, Eddie – who was born Edward Hugh McGinnis in Glasgow in 1941 – attracted massive success through the 1970s and 80s after finding fame winning talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1971.
As their popularity grew, in 1978 they debuted BBC One’s The Little And Large Show, which meshed stand-up routines with hilarious sketch segments.
The show, which has been compared to the likes of The Two Ronnies and The Morecambe & Wise Show, was a runaway success and attracted on average 18 million viewers a week.
It ran for 11 series, before concluding in 1991.
As well as Little And Large, the pair appeared on ITV series Who Do You Do? doing impressions as they become popular as pantomime stars.
The comedic duo had a highly publicised falling out, however they had reconciled in recent years.
Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan was one of the first stars to pay tribute, as he tweeted: ‘What sad news – he & Syd Little were one of Britain’s most beloved comedy duos. RIP.’
Little Britain’s Matt Lucas also paid tribute on Twitter, writing: ‘Eddie Large (along with his supersonic friend Syd) was really lovely and kind and encouraging to me when I was a nipper on Shooting Stars. So sad to hear of his passing.’
Michael Barrymore, who was Eddie’s support act, also chimed in: ‘Eddie Large. He was such a funny and talented man.
‘I was his support act for many years and he was nothing but kind caring and supportive to the upstart at the bottom of the Bill. Me. My love and condolences to Patsy, Samantha his daughter and Ryan his son. XXX’
Paul Chuckle remembered Large as a ‘funny and lovely man’ in a tweet, writing: ‘RIP the very talented Eddie Large. Such a funny and lovely man. Love goes out to his family at this time.’
In his later career, Eddie appeared in numerous TV guest acting roles and had penned autobiography Larger Than Life, published in 2005.
Although Eddie and Syd – real name Cyril Mead – rarely worked as a double act in the 2000s they did appear on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway featuring in their sketch serial Saturday Knight Takeaway.