Ricky Tomlinson on death of The Royle Family’s Liz Smith: “I will absolutely miss her”

Smith passed away on December 24

The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson has paid tribute to actor Liz Smith, after she passed away on Saturday (December 24).

A spokesman added: “The BAFTA award-winning actress Liz Smith has died, on Christmas Eve, at the age of 95, her family has announced.”

Speaking of her passing on BBC 5 Live, Ricky Tomlinson said; “She was my favourite character. She was crackers, she was a crack pot and she knew it, and she used to love making me laugh.”

He continued; “In the episode where she dies, all our feelings came out. Because them tears in that episode were the real McCoy. They weren’t put on. And you could hear a pin drop on the set.”

“No one spoke, No one laughed. No one took the mickey. We’d done the job where we went and looked at her in the bed, because we all felt it. We loved her.”

“I will miss her, honestly, I will absolutely miss her,” he added. “She was wonderful. It was a joy when she came on the set because we used to just take the mickey out of her something shocking. And you’d get it back double by the way from Liz.”

Ricky also explained that he’d been on stage in Liverpool when the news of Smith’s passing was announced, so he broke the news to the audience – and they all recited classic Nana lines.

“It was amazing the reaction that the people had” he explained. “I even had them saying lines that she used to say in the Royle Family – this is 11 o clock last night. People had had a few drinks and they adored her. They loved her.”

Earlier today (December 26), Tomlinson tweeted; “We’ve lost another member of our Royle Family. We’ll miss you Liz. Rx”.

Ralf Little also paid tribute to Smith, tweeting; “Devastating to lose two members of my second family in one awful year. RIP Liz Smith. Goodbye Nana. Xxx”