Tyne & Wear

Geordie comedian Brendan Healy dies of cancer aged 59

Brendan Healy Image copyright Timm Cleasby - Picture Foundry
Image caption Brendan Healy's family said he endured his illness with "strength, dignity and humour"

Geordie entertainer Brendan Healy has died of cancer aged 59.

The comedian and actor - who starred in shows such as Spender and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - died on Thursday, his family confirmed.

Healy was also well known for being part of the team behind the "Geordie" pantomimes at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle.

Comedy duo Ant and Dec tweeted: "Goodnight Bren. We will miss you. Xx #RIP".

His family posted a message on his Facebook page saying the entertainer died "peacefully".

The post said: "His strength, dignity and humour throughout his illness is an inspiration to all his friends and family.

Image copyright BBC/Initial Films
Image caption Brendan Healy appeared in 1990s series Spender with Denise Welch

"A much loved husband, father, brother, son, uncle and friend to many, he will be sorely missed."

Jimmy Nail tribute

Healy also performed at all of the Sunday for Sammy concerts, established to support new talent in the North East.

Singer and Spender star Jimmy Nail paid tribute in a statement, saying: "I am deeply saddened by the news of Brendan's passing. He was a fine man and my thoughts are with his family."

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, for which Healy raised money, also paid tribute.

"We're very sad to hear comedian Brendan Healy has died," the foundation said. "An extremely funny man who helped us whenever he could.

"We are thinking about the many laughs and thoughtful support Brendan gave us. He will be greatly missed.

"Brendan brought the house down three years ago, at the celebration of what would have been Sir Bobby's 80th birthday."

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