South Yorkshire's Barry Chuckle dies aged 73

Barry Chuckle, right, has died aged 73
Barry Chuckle, right, has died aged 73

South Yorkshire television star Barry Chuckle - one half of The Chuckle Brothers - has died aged 73.

The Rotherham-born entertainer, whose real name was Barry Elliott, starred in ChuckleVision on the BBC between 1987 and 2009.

The TV and theatre entertainer had started to film a new TV series with his brother Paul but he became unwell and his health deteriorated.

Manager Phil Dale said in a statement to the Press Association: "It is with great sadness that the family announce that Barry passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Ann and all his family.

READ MORE: RIP Barry Chuckle: Why the Chuckle Brothers were at the forefront of British comedy

"The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have been fans of The Chuckle Brothers and they know that they will share in part the great, great loss they feel."

His brother Paul said: "I've not just lost my brother, I've lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend."

The statement said that "there will be no further comment at the moment and it would be much appreciated if the privacy of Barry's family is respected at this most difficult time" adding that the star "leaves 50 years of laughter as his legacy which is something very special".

READ MORE: The Chuckle Brothers and Rotherham: Why the small South Yorkshire town will feel tragic death of Barry the most

The brothers began their comedy career on ITV talent shows Opportunity Knocks in 1967 and New Faces in 1974.

They were famed for their catch phrase 'to me, to you'' and had recently filmed a new series titled Chuckle Time for Channel 5.

READ MORE: Rotherham United 'saddened' at death of 'life president, supporter and friend' Barry Chuckle

Barry had not been well towards the end of the filming and summer work was cancelled whilst he rested at his doctor's request. Not long after this, his health deteriorated.

In 2014, the children's entertainer revealed he felt like a traitor while filming the new series of Open All Hours in Doncaster.

He was forced to wear Doncaster Rovers gear for the filming shoot in Balby - even though he is a diehard Rotherham United fan.

The star tweeted a picture of himself on the set in Lister Avenue sporting a Rovers scarf and coat with the caption: "This is my outfit for Still Open All Hours. Makes me feel like a traitor’!!!"

Along with his brother he was appointed honorary presidents of the Millers in 2007.

VIDEO: Tributes paid to South Yorkshire television star Barry Chuckle