10:48 23 February 2012
Comedian Frank Carson has died aged 85.
The Northern Irish comic, famed for his catchphrases "It's a cracker" and "It's the way I tell 'em", passed away at his home in Blackpool following a battle with stomach cancer.
Carson had been suffering from poor health for some time and underwent stomach surgery last year.
His family said in a statement that the "husband, father, Gaga and comedian set off for his final gig today.
"He went peacefully at his home in Blackpool surrounded by his greatest fans - his extended family.
"We will be taking him home to Belfast to lay him to rest and celebrate his joyful life. It's quieter down here now. God help them up there!!"
Carson rose to fame in the 1960s, winning the talent show Opportunity Knocks three times.
He also appeared in Tiswas alongside Chris Tarrant, who told the BBC:
"I think without exception he was the funniest man I've ever met in my life. What a wonderful sense of fun and mischief and laughter.
"All our lives are the richer for Frank passing through, but the poorer for him going. He was a complete one-off."
Carson is survived by his wife Ruth, daughter Majella and sons Tony and Aiden.
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