Comedian Freddie Starr has died at the age of 76, according to reports.
The entertainer, who became a household name after rising to fame in the 1970s, is said to have been found by a carer at his Spanish home.
A post on a Facebook page called Freddie Starr Official said: This is Freddie’s manager. Just to confirm Freddie has passed away. RIP to our greatest comedian of all time.
Starr lived in the resort of Mijas on the Costa Del Sol.
Comedian Bobby Davro wrote on Twitter: I’ve just heard that Freddie Starr has died. He was the funniest man I have ever seen.
I’m so sad we have lost one of our greatest comedy talents. RIP Freddie.
Fellow comic Jim Davidson added: Just heard the news. Freddie Starr was the greatest.
And Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden said of Starr: His style may have fallen out of comedy fashion & favour – but it’s important to recognise his once huge popularity and fame.
The outrageous & edgy parodies were infamous. I hope his legacy is not smalled down and he’s remembered with a smile.
Starr was the subject of the Sun’s infamous 1986 headline Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster – one of the best known headlines in the history of British tabloids.
He later said the story, which claimed Starr had placed a hamster between two slices of bread at a friend’s home and eaten it, was fabricated by publicist Max Clifford.
In 2014, it was announced he would not be prosecuted over allegations of sexual offences due to insufficient evidence after spending 18 months on bail.
Starr had been arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation which began following revelations about Jimmy Savile, in relation to 13 alleged victims.
No further action was taken over another alleged victim because it was not in the public interest, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
He claimed the allegations left him suicidal.
Merseyside-born Starr was the lead singer of Merseybeat group the Midniters in the early 1960s before rising to national prominence in the early 1970s on talent show Opportunity Knocks.
He performed on the 1970 Royal Variety Performance, impressing the audience with his impression of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
Starr also left Muhammad Ali in stitches during the boxing great’s last appearance on TV chat show Parkinson in 1981.
Known for his eccentric and often unpredictable behaviour, Starr starred in several TV shows during the 1990s including Freddie Starr (1993-94), The Freddie Starr Show (1996-98) and An Audience With Freddie Starr in 1996.
He also took part in the 2011 series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but dropped out due to ill health.
It came after Starr suffered an allergic reaction in the Australian jungle and had to be taken to hospital after eating a meal of fermented egg and a camel toe.
Starr moved to Spain after losing a damages claim against one of his accusers in 2015, which reportedly left him with an estimated bill of £1m.
He purportedly thanked fans for their messages of support in a Facebook post earlier this month.
A statement on the Freddie Starr Official page said he was getting tired more now but otherwise I’m doing good.
I just have to say thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the kind comments and messages it really does mean a lot so thank you to each and everyone of you thanks so much, it added.
Starr had six children and was married four times, most recently separating from Sophie Lea – who was 39 years his junior – in 2015.
(c) Sky News 2019: Freddie Starr found dead at Spanish home – reports