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Jason Manford has shared his heartbreak after finding out his BBC and XFM radio star pal has died.
The stand up comedian took to his Instagram feed to share a photo of Michelle Mullane before explaining to his 318,000 followers that she sadly lost her battle with bowel cancer aged 50 on Christmas Eve.
The snap saw the the brunette beauty smiling at the camera, which he captioned: "Just found out my dear friend and ex-BBC Manchester presenter Michelle Mullane sadly passed away on Christmas Eve.
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"I have so many fond memories of Michelle from when I was starting out in stand up in the late 90s. Michelle was the first person to get me on the airwaves and we spent many an evening laughing, flirting & joking over brews; on air and off."
The star, who previously brought his 93 year old nan to tears by playing an album for her, went on to speak about all the positives she brought into both his life and the lives of others trying to make it in the industry.
"We drank millions of cups of tea and her show ‘Michelle around Midnight’ was one of the only shows you could get on, get paid and just be yourself without having to be a big ‘tv name’," she said.
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He continued: "She was an incredible supporter of new talent and gave a leg up to so many of us northern comedians at a time where it felt like if you weren’t in London, you didn’t stand a chance. She has supported me and many others ever since.
"She will be dearly missed by so many people, not least her young daughter Liv.
"She only messaged me the other week to congratulate me on Royal Variety and to say how proud she was of me. Even in her state, she still thought of others."
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Jason, who previously reportedly got caught liking an explicit tweet offering threesome, added: "For over a year we’ve been trying to organise a charity gig (postponed due to covid) in aid of Kidney Cancer UK & Bowel Cancer Research. The second we are able to, I will 100% make sure this happens in your name Michelle.
"Thank you for everything. All my love, Jason".
Many of Jason's fans were quick to offer their condolences as one person wrote: "Im so sorry. Losing friends sucks, but losing friends when we knew we couldn’t make those final memories this year because of COVID just makes it that bit worse. Much love to all who knew and loved your friend." with a red heart emoji.
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Another said: "So sorry to hear the sad news about the loss of your friend. Thoughts are with you and her family and friends. RIP Michelle." followed by a red heart emoji.
While a third added: "I'm so sorry for your loss Jason what a lovely tribute paid to your friend I'm sure she would have been delighted." with a crying emoji.
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