Steve Coogan pays tribute to 'friend' Caroline Aherne during Stand Up To Cancer appearance

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Actor Steve Coogan has paid tribute to actress Caroline Aherne during an appearance on Channel 4 comedy fund-raiser Stand Up To Cancer.

Caroline died in July at 52 after a battle with lung cancer.

The programme, which also paid tribute to musician David Bowie who died of cancer in January, featured a short speech by Steve as well as a montage of the actress' most prominent work.

Caroline Aherne
Caroline Aherne passed away in July at age 52 (Michael Crabtree / PA Archive/PA Images)

Steve, who was friends with Caroline for almost 30 years, said she was "sassy, sexy, earthy, kind, smart, sometimes daft".

He added: "She mercilessly took the piss and she made me and a small gang of Manchester friends laugh until they cried.

"She was both ordinary and extraordinary.

"I never thought Caroline would become famous, she seemed too real, too genuine," he added.

A scene from The Royle Family with Sue Johnston and Caroline Aherne (BBC)
A scene from The Royle Family with Sue Johnston and Caroline Aherne (BBC)

Steve recalled working on a television pilot with the Royle Family star on a hot day and he chose to wear shorts. "She took one look at my legs and said, 'That reminds me, I must get some chicken drumsticks on the way home'," he said.

The programme then screened a montage of Caroline's work, including her performance as Denise Best in The Royle Family for which she won best actress at the British Comedy Awards in 1999.