Comedian Freddie Starr dies aged 76

The comedian Freddie Starr has died at the age of 76, according to reports.

Starr, a household name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead at his home in Spain, The Sun said.

A post on Facebook and Twitter pages claiming to belong to Starr appeared to confirm the news.

A post said: "This is Freddie's manager Just to confirm Freddie has passed away. R.i.p to our greatest comedian of all time."

Merseyside-born Starr was the lead singer of the Merseybeat group the Midniters during the 1960s and rose to national prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on Opportunity Knocks.

He was known by fans for his eccentric and often unpredictable behaviour.

In 1986, he was famously at the centre of one of the best known newspaper headlines when The Sun splashed with: "Freddie Starr ate my hamster."

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Freddie Starr
The Queen meets singer Tina Turner, second from the right, watched by comedian Freddie Starr after the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.
English comedian Freddie Starr.
British pop star Engelbert Humperdinck (c) celebrates with fellow stars Freddie Starr (l) and Des O'Connor (r) at a party in London following a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
File photo dated 27/06/85 of Freddie Starr, flanked by his seconds, Vee Brooks, left, and Sue Lee, right. Starr has died at the of 76, according to reports. Starr, a household name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead at his home in Spain.
Show business personalities after attending the Memorial service for Benny Hill at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. L-R Top Row Henry McGee, Alfred Marks, Freddie Starr, Les Dennis. Bottom row L-R Davie Kaye and Ronnie Corbett.
File photo dated 17/03/83 of Freddie Starr who has died at the of 76, according to reports. Starr, a household name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead at his home in Spain.
Comedian Freddie Starr who celebrates his 52nd birthday on Tuesday 9 Januray, 1996.
Library filer of Freddie Starr, dated 17.3.83. Dozens of current showbusiness favourites, including comedian and actor Freddy Starr, were given their big break on the TV talent show 'Opportunity Knocks' which was hosted by veteran TV presenter Hughie Green who died today (Saturday) aged 77. See PA story DEATH Green. PA Photo. AVAILABLE IN BLACK AND WHITE ONLY.
Freddie Starr, whose horse Miinnehoma was the winner of the 1994 Grand National.
Freddie Starr arrives at Leeds Crown Court today (Wednesday) where he was called as a witness. Watch for PA Story COURTS (blackmail) story. Photo by John Giles/PA.
Comedian Freddie Starr outside Maidenhead Magistrates Court today (Wednesday) with his girlfriend Donna Smith, where he appeared on an assault charge after he slapped his teenage son during a bitter family row. Starr admitted common assault and recieved 12 month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of 45. Photo by Tim Ockenden/PA. See PA story COURTS Starr
Freddie Starr arrives at the British Comedy Awards at the Fountain Studios in London.
Freddie Starr outside his home in Warwickshire after the CPS confirmed that he will not be charged as part of Operation Yewtree due to insufficient evidence.
Freddie Starr leaves the High Court in London at the start of a slander and libel claim against a woman who says he groped her when she was in the audience at a Jimmy Savile show when she was a 15-year-old.
Comic Freddie Starr poses for pictures during a photo call to launch the new series Supply and Demand January 22. Starr will play a drugs baron in his first serious role. BRITAIN
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The story claimed Starr placed the small creature between two slices of bread and ate it at a friend's home after returning from a performance in Manchester.

But in his 2001 autobiography Unwrapped, Starr said the incident never took place.

During the 1990s, he starred in several TV shows including Freddie Starr (1993–94), The Freddie Starr Show (1996–98) and An Audience with Freddie Starr in 1996.

He took part in the 2011 series of I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here but dropped out due to ill health.

Freddie Starr
Freddie Starr became a household name at the height of his fame (PA)

A meal of fermented egg and a camel toe forced comic Starr to leave after he suffered an allergic reaction and had to be taken to hospital.

Medics advised Starr to drop out of the competition in case his illness flared up again.

Police investigated an allegation of historical sexual abuse against Starr in 2012, which he said left him "suicidal".

Starr was told in 2014 he would not be prosecuted after spending 18 months on bail.

He lost a damages claim against his accuser in the High Court in 2015.

Freddie Starr
Freddie Starr, pictured in 1997, was known for his eccentric behaviour (John Giles/PA)

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he revealed he moved to Spain following the ruling, which left him facing a bill unofficially estimated at about £1 million.

He told the paper: "No matter which way I turned there was a f****** revolver pointing at my head so I thought 'I'm not going to tell anyone, I'm just going to get on a plane and go to Spain, the place I love, and this is where I'm going to die'.

"I didn't even know how high the legal fees were until after I'd left Britain."

He added he had not moved "to deliberately get out of paying" and had planned to emigrate regardless of the outcome.

According to The Sun, Starr was found dead inside his apartment in the resort of Mijas on the Costa Del Sol.

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