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British comedian Eddie Large, best known for being part of double act Little and Large, has died at the age of 78 after contracting coronavirus in hospital.

The star (pictured, above left), who had been in hospital with heart failure, found fame alongside Syd Little in the 1970s and 80s.

They won TV talent show “Opportunity Knocks” and went on to have a long-running comedy sketch show on BBC One in the 1970s and 80s, which was watched by millions of TV viewers in the U.K.

His son, Ryan McGinnis, broke the news in a Facebook post, writing that his father caught Covid-19 while in hospital.

He wrote: “It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to announce that my Dad passed away in the early hours of this morning.

“He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the coronavirus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight. Dad had fought bravely for so long. Due to this horrible disease we had been unable to visit him at the hospital but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day.

“We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.”

Large, whose real name was Hugh McGinnis, was born in Glasgow but grew up in Manchester.

Comedians and fans including Matt Lucas, Jason Manford, Paul Chuckle and Kate Robbins are among those paying tribute on social media.