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Caroline Aherne: Royle Family writer and actress dies aged 52 after cancer battle

Published 02/07/2016

Caroline Aherne has died aged 52
Caroline Aherne has died aged 52

Caroline Aherne has died at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer, her publicist has said.

Neil Reading said on Saturday: "Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away, after a brave battle with cancer.

"The Bafta award-winning writer and comedy actor died earlier today at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester. She was 52.

"The family ask for privacy at this very sad time."

The actress and writer, whose comedy creations have included the Royle Family and her spoof chat host Mrs Merton, was born in London, but her parents are from Ireland.

Earlier this year it was reported that Aherne was recovering from lung cancer and she returned to work on Gogglebox.

The star had been narrating the hit television show since it began in 2013, apart from a brief break when her writing partner Craig Cash took over for her as she underwent treatment.

She had previously battled cancer of the retina, which she and her twin brother were both diagnosed with, and bladder.

Her illness came to light after she agreed to take part in an appeal in her home city of Manchester that was asking patients and carers to help improve standards of care. In pledging her support, she said: "I've had cancer and my brother's had cancer and we know how it affects people."

Aherne had largely withdrawn from the public eye, but she recently took part as one of the cast of an animated children's series for the BBC. She played a range of characters in CBBC's 'Strange Hill High', along with her former co-star from 'The Fast Show' John Thomson.

Aherne, who was a smoker, had struggled with health problems for years.

She also fought depression and drink problems and spent time in the Priory Clinic following a suicide attempt, before moving to Australia to avoid the glare of publicity.

The star was once married to former New Order guitarist Peter Hook, and she then began a romance with TV researcher Matt Bowers. They split but she was devastated when he died of cancer at the age of 28.

Caroline Aherne was born in London, but her parents are from Ireland
Caroline Aherne was born in London, but her parents are from Ireland

Aherne admitted alcohol was an attempt to block out her problems.

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