TRIBUTES have been paid to Studley-based comedian Freddie Starr who died last week at the age of 76.

Starr, a household name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead in the Costa Del Sol region of Spain.

A post on Facebook and Twitter claiming to belong to Starr broke the news.

The post said: “This is Freddie’s manager. Just to confirm Freddie has passed away. RIP to our greatest comedian of all time.”

Starr’s fellow comic Jim Davidson was among those paying tribute.

He tweeted: “Just heard the news. Freddie Starr was the greatest.”

Actor Bobby Davro said on Twitter that Starr was “one of our greatest comedy talents”.

He wrote: “I’ve just heard that Freddie Starr has died. He was the funniest man I have ever seen. I’m so sad we have lost one of our greatest comedy talents. RIP Freddie.”

Mr Starr was based in the Redditch area, living in Studley for a few years before moving out to Spain.

He was known by fans for his eccentric and often unpredictable behaviour, after rising to national prominence in the early 1970s, following his appearance on Opportunity Knocks.

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.”

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.

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.

He told a paper: “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."