'She was a national treasure and people absolutely adored her'

Ricky Tomlinson has hit out against Peter Hook for his claims that his ex-wife and comedian Caroline Aherne abused him while they were married.

The Royle Family writer and comedian passed away back in July after a battle with cancer, aged 52.

Then this month saw former New Order and Joy Division bassist Hook accuse Aherne of domestic abuse “putting cigarettes out” on him and attacking him with “bottles, knives [and] chairs”. They were married from 1994-1997. He made the accusations in his new autobiography Substance, before Aherne’s brother Patrick spoke out in her defence and called Hook’s remarks ‘disgusting’.

Now, her Royle Family co-star and close friend Tomlinson has joined the criticism of Hook.

“It’s very, very sad what [Hook’s] done,” he told The Mirror. “She can’t answer back. She has no redress. Why couldn’t he have made the claims when she was alive?

“She was a national treasure and people absolutely adored her.”

He added: “If he’s writing an autobiography then of course he would write about their marriage but I’m sure there were good times. Why couldn’t he have spoken about those? I suppose because those things don’t sell books.”

“I am absolutely convinced that if it had been the other way round she wouldn’t have written stuff like that about him. I don’t think he has done himself any favours. Any reputation he had I think will have gone down. He has shot himself in the foot.”

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Hook’s claims have divided opinion. While many agree with Tomlinson, many others have praised Hook for speaking up about his experience of male domestic violence.

Tomlinson previously paid tribute to Aherne, saying she should have had a state funeral.

The star and writer of The Royle Family, Mrs Merton and most recently, the narrator of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, Aherne was diagnosed with lung cancer last year having previously recovered from eye and bladder cancer. Noel Gallagher was among those to pay tribute after he death, writing “my God you made us laugh.”