Sir Paul McCartney hails Carla Lane as 'advocate for animal rights'

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Carla Lane

Sir Paul McCartney has paid tribute to television writer Carla Lane, who died on Tuesday at the age of 87.

Carla created several popular sitcoms including The Liver Birds. She also was a passionate advocate for animals who worked with Sir Paul's wife Linda McCartney.

The former Beatles singer - and fellow Liverpudlian - wrote on his website: "Dear Carla has passed away and all of us in the family are very sad to lose a wonderful woman.

"We originally met through our involvement with the comedy show Bread and then later came to know her very well as a passionate animal lover.

"Any animal in trouble was an animal that she felt she had to help and she did rescue and keep many varied animals for a long time. In her poetry she often expressed her feelings for animals and we in our family shared her passion.

"The world has lost a great advocate for the rights of animals but more importantly someone who saw the value of her fellow creatures' lives and did everything in her power to show them the love and respect they deserved."

Carla was friends with Sir Paul and his wife Linda
Carla was friends with Sir Paul and his wife Linda (PA)

Carla wrote lyrics for Linda's song The White Coated Man, about vivisection, and they also worked together on her song Cow.

She also created a part for both Sir Paul and Linda in the sitcom Bread, in an episode about an animal refuge.

Carla once described her friendship with Linda as like that of "identical twins", telling the Observer in 2008: "We were friendship-struck from moment one. We used to sit on the lawn with our two puppies, kicking leaves, and looking at them.

"We were like two scientists trying to find out why people don't like animals, and what we'd do to them, if we only could."

Carla and Chrissie Hynde helped Sir Paul organise a tribute concert to Linda in 1999
Carla and Chrissie Hynde helped Sir Paul organise a tribute concert to Linda in 1999 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

After the TV writer's death on Tuesday, her family paid tribute to their "darling Carla" who "brought Liverpool to life".

They said: "With heavy hearts we said goodbye to our darling Carla today. But with smiles on our faces we also take this opportunity to reflect on her incredible achievements, all of which make us so unbelievably proud to be part of her family.

"We were very lucky that her quick wit, determination and passion brought Liverpool to life on screen for others to share."

Carla, who was born Romana Barrack, died at Stapely Care Home in her home town Liverpool on Tuesday.

Carla, left, with Nerys Hughes and Polly James of the BBC series The Liver Birds
Carla, left, with Nerys Hughes and Polly James of the BBC series The Liver Birds (PA)

Her sitcoms, which also included Butterflies, Bread and The Mistress, established Lane as one of the country's best-loved writers. Much of her work focused on women's lives - with characters ranging from frustrated housewives to working-class matriarchs.

The Liver Birds series - based on flat-sharing Liverpudlian women - made famous the line: "'You dancing?', 'You asking?', 'I'm asking!', 'I'm dancing!'"