The sad news came over the weekend that Caroline Aherne had died. Like her fellow northerner, the late, great Victoria Wood, Caroline had managed to transcend the ‘woman comedian’ title; to be seen as an incredibly talented comic writer and performer.
The creator of Mrs Merton and The Royle Family had been diagnosed with eye cancer and bladder cancer and two years ago confirmed she now had lung cancer. Her publicist Neil Reading said in a statement: “The Bafta award-winning writer and comedy actor died earlier today at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester. She was 52.
“The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.”
Comedians and Caroline’s co-stars all mentioned her incredible talent when expressing their grief. Ralf Little, who found fame as Antony Royle said Caroline was a “genius” who had become: “a sister, real and (for me) fake.” Arabella Weir, who worked with Caroline on the Fast Show noted that: “Everything she said was just killingly funny. She was just a great and she was a gentle, kind, easygoing person. She was great to work with. She never made a fuss. She was just a real laugh to be around.”
Broadcaster Terry Christian said: “What it was with Caroline was she was genuinely one of the funniest people just in the pub.”
As Mrs Merton, and other characters she was devastatingly funny. Now as Caroline Aherne, she has left us just devastated.