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  1. ITV Report

Comedian Eddie Large dies alone in hospital after contracting coronavirus

  • Video report by ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar

Comedian Eddie Large has died at the age of 78 after contracting coronavirus, his family has announced.

He died alone, with his family unable to be with him at Bristol's Southmead Hospital.

Eddie became a household name, alongside his great friend Syd Little, after the pair won the ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1971.

As Little and Large the comic duo had primetime shows on both ITV and then the BBC.

Eddie, who lived in Portishead near Bristol, retired in 2003 after undergoing a heart transplant.

His family say he contracted coronavirus while receiving treatment in Southmead for a heart condition.

Comedian Eddie Large who has died at the age of 78. Credit: PA

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 coronavirus which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight.

Dad 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 every week.

RIP Dad. We love you and miss you from all the family.

– Ryan McGinnis, son of Eddie Large
Eddie with his wife Patsy. Credit: PA Images

His agent Peter Mansfield confirmed his death and said his family were only able to speak to him on the phone.

His family were very sad not to be able to be in the same room as him, touching him, in the last week because of coronavirus.

They were only able to speak on the phone which was obviously very sad for them.

But they wanted to say thank you to the NHS which was fantastic throughout.

– Peter Mansfield, agent

He added: “He was at Southmead Hospital, and the Papworth Hospital - which did his heart transplant 17 years ago - were in constant communication and a great help as well.

“The family wanted to say how grateful they are for the extra 17 years that they have had with Eddie. And a huge thank you to the donor and the donor’s family.”

Fellow comics, including Lenny Henry, Tommy Cannon and Jimmy Cricket, were among those paying tribute to Eddie on Twitter.

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