Tributes have been paid to comedian Freddie Starr who has reportedly died, aged 76.
The Merseyside-born comic, impressionist, singer and actor was found dead inside his home in the Costa Del Sol region of Spain, the Sun said.
The BBC has not been able to confirm the reports.
Comedian Bobby Davro described him as “the funniest man I have ever seen”, while presenter Amanda Holden said he should be “remembered with a smile”.
Comedian Jim Davidson also tweeted: “Just heard the news. Freddie Starr was the greatest.”
Starr rose to prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on the TV show Opportunity Knocks, starring in several TV shows in the 1990s and famously featuring in the Sun’s “Freddie Starr ate my hamster” headline.
In 2012, he was arrested by police investigating allegations of historical sexual abuse but he was never charged.
He later lost a defamation claim against an accuser in 2015.
‘I’m a Celebrity’
Starr began his career as lead singer of the Merseybeat group the Midniters during the 1960s and fronted several TV programmes including The Freddie Starr Show and An Audience with Freddie Starr in the 1990s.
He became known for his unpredictable and eccentric comedy routines.
In 1986, he was the subject of one of the best-known newspaper headlines, “Freddie Starr ate my hamster”, on the Sun’s front page.
However, in his autobiography Starr denied the incident had taken place.
The story had claimed Starr put a hamster in a sandwich and ate it at a friend’s home after a performance.
He later took part in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity but left the show after being taken to hospital following a suspected allergic reaction.
He suffered from ill health and in 2010 had bypass surgery after a heart attack.
‘Greatest comedy talent’
Britain’s Got Talent presenter Holden tweeted: “Sad to hear of Freddie Starr passing today. His style may have fallen out of comedy fashion & favour-but it’s important to recognise his once huge popularity & fame.
“The outrageous & edgy parody’s were infamous. I hope his legacy is not smalled down.”
Davro said on Twitter: “I’m so sad we have lost one of our greatest comedy talents.”