Eddie Large, one half of iconic comedy duo Little and Large, has died. His son posted a statement with the news on Facebook on Thursday morning, with his agent confirming the actor had passed away shortly after.
Large had been in hospital due to heart failure when he reportedly contracted coronavirus. In the statement, his son said: “It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to announce that my dad, Edward McGinnis, passed away in the early hours of this morning.
“He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the corona virus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight.
“We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd [Little] and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.”
Since the announcement, stars have taken to social media to pay tribute to the comedy legend. Matt Lucas said Large had been “really lovely and encouraging” when he was starting out on Shooting Stars.
Eddie Large (along with his supersonic friend Syd) was really lovely and kind and encouraging to me when I was a nipper on Shooting Stars. So sad to hear of his passing.
— MATT LUCAS (@RealMattLucas) April 2, 2020
Actor Kate Robbins, who appears on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside daughter Emily Atack, also showed her support, tweeting: “Sorry to hear the comedian Eddie Large has died. What a great chap he was. A real pro. Rest in peace Eddie”
Sorry to hear the comedian Eddie Large has died. What a great chap he was. A real pro. Rest in peace Eddie ❤️
— Kate Robbins (@KateRobbins) April 2, 2020
Piers Morgan also shared the sad news on Twitter, stating how beloved Eddie and Syd are.
BREAKING: Comedian Eddie Large has died from coronavirus, his family confirm. He had underlying heart problems.
What sad news – he & Syd Little were one of Britain's most beloved comedy duos. RIP. pic.twitter.com/7AqpVj2997
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 2, 2020
Presenter and Dancing on Ice contestant Michael Barrymore, who had been Large’s support act for “many years”, remembered the comedian for being “nothing but kind caring and supportive to the upstart at the bottom of the Bill.”
Eddie Large. He was such a funny and talented man. I was his support act for many years and he was nothing but kind caring and supportive to the upstart at the bottom of the Bill. Me. My love and condolences to Patsy, Samantha his daughter and Ryan his son. XXX
— Michael Barrymore (@MrBarrymore) April 2, 2020
Tommy Cannon also joined in the tributes for his friend. “Devastated to hear my good friend Eddie Large has passed.. very heavy hearts at home today,” he Tweeted.
Devastated to hear that my good friend Eddie Large has passed.. very heavy hearts at home today. Mine and Hazels hearts go out to Patsy and the family.
— Tommy Cannon (@TheTommyCannon) April 2, 2020
Little and Large won Opportunity Knocks and went on to have a long-running comedy sketch show on BBC One, becoming two of the most famous faces on telly in the ’70s and ’80s.