TRIBUTES have been paid to the veteran children’s entertainer Barry Chuckle, who has died at the age of 73.

Chuckle, whose real name was Barry Elliot, was one half of the comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers along with brother Paul.

Paul led the tributes: “I’ve not just lost my brother, I’ve lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend.”

Chuckle passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by wife Ann and all his family, the duo’s manager Phil Dale said.

He added: “The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have been fans of the Chuckle Brothers and they know that they will share in part the great, great loss they feel.”

The brothers had recently filmed a new series, Chuckle Time, for Channel 5. But Chuckle fell unwell towards the end of filming and summer work was cancelled while he rested at his doctor’s request.

In recent days his health deteriorated.

Born in Rotherham, the brothers came from a showbiz background. Their dad James Patton Elliott had worked with a young Peter Sellers.

The brothers got their first break as the Chuckles when they won the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967.

By the 1970s, the pair were regulars on New Faces.

The 1980s spawned both The Chuckle-Hounds and Chuckle-Vision, which ran on Children’s BBC for 22 years. They also presented the 1990s gameshow To Me... To You... Barry was also a regular on Still Open All Hours.

For the past five decades, the brothers had been performing in pantos all over the country, and were due to appear in Hull this December.

In 2014, the brothers collaborated with Tinchy Stryder on a track, To Me, To You (Bruv), which referenced their famous catchphrase.

The rapper tweeted: “Funny, Down to earth, super cool, talented, humble legend. Rest in peace Barry Chuckle!”

David Walliams said Chuckle was one of the last links to the British music hall tradition that gave us Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin: “I was lucky to work with the Chuckle Brothers many times over the past 20 years.

“I never got over being completely starstruck at seeing them, but always found them to be generous, kind and most of all FUNNY. Barry had funny bones. He could have you in hysterics with just a look.”