'Royle Family' stars pay tribute to Caroline Aherne on 4th anniversary of her death

Amy Johnson
·2-min read

Caroline Aherne's Royle Family co-stars Sue Johnston and Ricky Tomlinson have paid tribute to her on the fourth anniversary of her tragic death.

The actor and comedian died on 2 July 2016 at the age of 52 following a two-year battle with lung cancer.

Appearing on Loose Women via video call on Thursday, Johnston showed the camera a painting of Aherne she'd received from Tomlinson after their co-star's passing.

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"It's at the bottom of the stairs when I come down every morning and it's the first thing I see," she said while Tomlinson added: "I love her."

Actress and comedian Caroline Aherne at the South Bank Awards, at the Savoy Hotel in London. The awards recognise achievements in all fields of the arts ranging from opera and dance to cinema and TV drama.   (Photo by Fiona Hanson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Actress and comedian Caroline Aherne at the South Bank Awards, at the Savoy Hotel in London. The awards recognise achievements in all fields of the arts ranging from opera and dance to cinema and TV drama. (Photo by Fiona Hanson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Jim Royle actor went on to share a story from their time spent filming the series as he remembered his friend and colleague.

He said: "She was wonderful wasn't she? But she was cheeky. She was really, really cheeky! She phoned me once one Friday night and said: 'Come up to Manchester in the morning you've got to do a voiceover, a bit of dubbing’.

"I went in and her and Craig [Cash] are sitting in the seats watching the screen and they said: 'We want you to do this little retake. They're carrying you up the stairs and all you've got on is your vest and your Y-fronts’.”

The cast of the BBC comedy series 'The Royle Family' arrive for the premiere of the film "Maybe Baby",  at the Odeon cinema Leicester Square, London. * (L-R) Craig Cash, Ricky Tomlinson, Caroline Aherne, Sue Johnston and Ralph Little.   (Photo by Peter Jordan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
The cast of the BBC comedy series 'The Royle Family' arrive for the premiere of the film "Maybe Baby", at the Odeon cinema Leicester Square, London. * (L-R) Craig Cash, Ricky Tomlinson, Caroline Aherne, Sue Johnston and Ralph Little. (Photo by Peter Jordan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

"They said: ‘Well, when we were watching the rushes one of your testicles was hanging out'," he went on.

Tomlinson added Aherne told him he was "costing the BBC a fortune". "She said 'what have you got to say about that?' and I said 'was it the big one or the small one?'."

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Aherne created, wrote and starred in the BBC series alongside collaborator Craig Cash. Their pair also provided the voiceover for Gogglebox, although Cash took over the role permanently in April 2016.

She was also well known for her sharp-tongued character Mrs Merton and had roles in The Fast Show.