Actor Dennis Waterman said his Minder co-star George Cole was a "wonderful man" with whom he "laughed all day every day" following the television star's death yesterday at the age of 90.
Cole, whose showbusiness career spanned 70 years, is best remembered for his portrayal of small-time wheeler dealer and crook Arthur Daley in the TV show Minder, alongside his likeable bodyguard Terry McCann, played by Waterman.
He died yesterday in hospital with his family at his side after a short illness.
Waterman, 67, said: "I am so sad to hear of George's death. His family must be devastated, and I am absolutely certain that anybody who ever knew him, will feel the same.
"I'm so grateful to have been a friend of this wonderful man. We worked together for many years and my boast is that we laughed all day every day.
"He was an amazing man, a wonderful actor and besotted with his family. I had the privilege of spending Tuesday afternoon with him and Penny and although very frail his wit was as evident as ever. Farewell old friend."