Comedian Russ Abbot has paid tribute to Bella Emberg who has died aged 80.

Abbot said the comedy actress, who starred with him as Blunderwoman on The Russ Abbot Show, was “a huge comedy talent” and “a woman of immense warmth and generosity”.

Emberg, whose TV career spanned six decades, appeared in popular TV shows including The Benny Hill Show, Doctor Who and Z Cars.

She had recently just finished filming In The Long Run, a Sky One comedy created by Idris Elba.

But it was her performance as Blunderwoman, the comic sidekick of Abbot’s Cooperman in the 1980s that shot her to fame.

Bella with Russ Abbot
Image:
Bella starred with Russ Abbot as Blunderwoman

In a statement Abbot, 70, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I heard the news about Bella. She was not only a great sport but a huge comedy talent.

“A genuinely funny woman, but most of all a woman of immense warmth and generosity. I count myself very lucky to have worked alongside her.

“She really was a one off. RIP Bella”

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Les Dennis, who appeared on The Russ Abbot Show, shared a photo of himself with Emberg on Twitter, saying he was “so sad” to lose a “funny, lovely friend”.

Chuckle, real name Paul Elliott, who performed in pantomime with Emberg, remembered her as “the funniest fairy ever”, while EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison said she was “lovable and always an inspiration”.