BREAKING: Comedian Freddie Starr dies aged 76

Freddie Starr has died
Freddie Starr has died

Comedian Freddie Starr has been found dead at his home in Spain.

The 76-year-old showbiz mainstay was discovered on the floor of his Costa Del Sol apartment at 3.30pm yesterday.

Neighbours reported that his carer found him in an unresponsive state and called the emergency services.

Some suggested that he had been in poor health since moving abroad a few years ago.

Mr Starr, who was born Frederick Leslie Fowell, rose to fame in the early 1970s after appearing on TV show Opportunity Knocks and the Royal Variety Performance.

He went on to star in a number of his own TV shows, including The Freddie Starr Show and An Audience with Freddie Starr.

He also presented game show Beat The Crusher and appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2011.

He appeared on the reality show just one year after recovering from quadruple bypass surgery following a heart attack.

He was famously axed from the show after collapsing, amid reports producers feared he could die on the programme.

The comic was also the subject of one of the best known British tabloid headlines of all time.

A story ran in The Sun on March 13, 1986, entitled ‘Freddie Starr ate my hamster’.

According to the story, Freddie returned to the home of a friend he was staying with after a performance at a Manchester night club and demanded that a sandwich was made for him.

It is claimed that when his request was refused, Freddie grabbed the woman’s pet hamster, put it between two slices of bread and ate it.

He denied it all, writing in his autobiography Unwrapped: “I have never eaten or even nibbled a live hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, mouse, shrew, vole or any other small mammal”.

In the 70s and 80s he was amongst the highest paid stars on television alongside other working-class comics such as Frank Carson, Benny Hill, Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson.

But his career tailed of in the 90s and after comeback attempts on shows like I’m A Celebrity, Freddie hit the headlines and has been plagued by allegations of sex abuse and groping during his career as part of Operation Yewtree which he said made him consider suicide.