Eddie Large death: 'Not being with him as he died the hardest thing'

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Patsy and Ryan McGinnis
Image caption,
Large's widow, Patsy McGinnis, and son, Ryan, paid tribute from their home

The family of comedian Eddie Large say not being able to be with him when he died "was the hardest part", and "the bit that made us the most sad".

Large - real name Hugh McGinnis - who was part of double act Little and Large, died in hospital with coronavirus, aged 78.

The comedian's family said they had been unable to visit him in hospital due to restrictions around the virus.

His wife, Patsy McGinnis, said they never expected him to get the disease.

It was Covid-19 that "just finished him off", she said.

"We were shocked to find he had that; his health wasn't good and I know our time together wasn't going to be very long," said Ms McGinnis.

Image caption,
Large, 78, was famous for his partnership with Syd Little

Speaking from their home in Portishead, near Bristol, his son Ryan said their father's health "just started to get worse and worse".

"That was the hardest part, not being able to be with dad [in hospital], and the bit that makes me the most sad," he said.

"We always had that hope that dad would be coming home but as soon as he was diagnosed with Covid-19, he just deteriorated quite quickly and that was the end unfortunately.

"You'd be speaking to him [on a video call] and it looked like he was on death's door and struggling to speak to us.

Image caption,
The pair largely stepped away from the limelight when the show ended in 1991

"But then you'd hear off-camera a nurse coming into the room and dad's eyes would open wide and he'd say: 'Here she is, my number one, Miss Southmead 1978 runner up'.

"You could just hear the nurses laughing and you're thinking he's so close to potentially not being being with us, and he's still making them laugh.

"That's all he wanted to do and what he did all the time."