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I'm visited by ghost of dead son, says Ricky Tomlinson

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson has said he is visited by the ghost of his dead son.

Clifton Tomlinson died in December 2004 aged 33, after battling against alcohol addiction for many years.

"I talk to him all the time, in my head," the 77-year-old father told the Sunday People.

"It's not just this time of year, it's regularly. He was great and harum-scarum. He knows I loved him.

"And although I can't see him, now and then he sits on the bed with me. I can feel him, this weight. I know that sounds strange because ghosts are ­invisible. But I know it's him."

Clifton was the eldest child of Tomlinson and his first wife.

The actor, who played Jim Royle in BBC hit The Royle Family, said: "I believe in ghosts and spirits. I've had experiences I'll never forget."

"It's difficult," he said. "I'm one of three brothers. When we lost my dad, it was a tremendous loss. I loved him. But it was a different feeling when Clifton died. Our Clifton. He was my eldest lad."

Tomlinson, who also starred in Brookside, said he believed his son had visited him once in a cottage in Coedpoeth, North Wales.

"I used to go there to get out of the way and write," he said. "It's only a little one-bed place with an open fire and log burner.

"We'd had a bad, bad winter and I could just about drive to the cottage before the snow was too deep to get any further. I put the fire on and a butterfly came in the room and settled on my hand.

"It was our Clifton coming to see me, that I'm sure of."

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