Tributes continue to be paid to Caroline Aherne

Tributes have been paid to comedian Caroline Aherne, one of Britain's best-loved entertainers, who has died at the age of 52.

Friends and fellow entertainers have spoken on social media of their shock at her death. Aherne, who starred in Mrs Merton and The Royle Family, suffered from cancer, her publicist said.

She died at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester on 2 July.

Her friend Noel Gallagher paid tribute at a concert in Nashville later that evening. He performed Half The World Away, the Oasis song which was The Royle Family theme tune.

"I want to dedicate the following song to a friend of mine who died this afternoon, her name was Caroline," he said.

"She was a very, very funny woman and she used this next song for a very, very, very, very brilliant sitcom in England called The Royle Family. So wherever you are..." he said, pointing upwards.

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Image caption Caroline Aherne and Steve Coogan

Her friend Steve Coogan, said: "I loved her. She used to make me cry with laughter. This is the first time she's made me cry without laughing."

He told The Guardian she was uncomfortable with success so she "could easily have just remained a funny girl working as a secretary, so it's great that she became a household name instead, and so many people got to see her and have that joy."

John Thompson started out in comedy with Aherne under the name the Mitzi Goldberg Experience and they later starred in The Fast Show together.

"We've lost a great comedian, actress and writer, and sadly I've lost a very dear, very old friend," he told The Guardian.

But he admitted that a lot of her friends had sadly lost touch with her years ago when "regular intrusion into her private life" had led her to become a "virtual recluse".

"She was an incredibly funny woman on and off screen, whose raw talent and 'funny bones' never failed to make me roar with laughter."

Image copyright @RalphLittle/Twitter

Ralf Little, who played her brother in The Royle Family, said Aherne was "a sister, real and (for me) fake", as well as a genius and a friend with a "big, big heart".

He also told The Guardian that her death left a "noticeable gap" in the comedy world.

"Caroline was a leading light in showing that working class people can be on TV, being ourselves...

"Right now, I don't see anyone else doing what she did and I do think there is a noticeable gap left in Caroline's wake. Her death is a reminder how much she and her writing were, and still are, the exception."

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Image copyright @terrychristian/Twitter

Debbie McGee, who was the subject of Mrs Merton's most famous interview when she asked her 'And what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?', was one of the first to pay tribute.

Image copyright @thedebbiemcgee/Twitter

Other comedians paying tribute include Sarah Millican and Jenny Eclair.

Millican said it was "so sad. What a wonderful talent she was."

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Image copyright Twitter

The League Of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith also remembered the star on Twitter: "Terrible news about Caroline Aherne," he wrote. "Another great gone. What a ghastly year."

Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern added: "Another genius gone."

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill tweeted: "I'm devastated at the loss of brilliant writer/actor Caroline Aherne #TheRoyleFamily was a masterpiece! #GoneTooSoon."

Line Of Duty actor Daniel Mays said he was a "huge fan" and continued: "Absolute comedy genius and master of her craft. She'll be much missed. RIP."

Fellow comedian Stephen Merchant tweeted: "Another unique voice gone too soon. Perhaps inevitably, Half The World Away is playing in my head. #CarolineAherneRIP."

While comedy actor Sanjeev Bhaskar tweeted: Sad news abt #CarolineAherne. A genuinely original comedy voice."

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Fan pages for shows Aherne was a part of also took to social media to express their grief at the news.

A Twitter page for The Royle Family, the sitcom she co-wrote and appeared in, posted: "So heartbroken to hear about Caroline Aherne. In shock, cannot believe it."

@goggleboxquotes tweeted: "RIP Caroline Aherne, the voice of Gogglebox and an incredible actress."

Compiled by Rozina Sini, BBC UGC and social news team

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