British comedienne Caroline Aherne dead

London: Award winning actor-comedienne Caroline Aherne, writer of "The Royle Family", has died following a battle with cancer. She was 52. Her publicist shared the news of her demise, saying that the Bafta award-winning writer died at her home in Manchester, reports  Neil Reading, the publicist, on Saturday said: “Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away after a brave battle with cancer. The Bafta award-winning writer and comedy actor died earlier today at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester. She was 52. The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.” Aherne, who co-wrote, directed and starred in “The Royle Family”, had revealed two years ago that she had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer in her home city of Manchester.  She was born with a rare form of retina cancer and later received treatment for bladder cancer. Aherne created some of British comedy’s best-loved characters -- lazy daughter Denise in “The Royle Family” and acerbic chat show host Mrs Merton. “The Mrs Merton Christmas Show” won the Best Talk Show Bafta in 1997, while “The Royle Family” collected Best Sitcom award in 2000 and 2007. Aherne was nominated for Baftas for her performance in both shows, as well as for her directing of “The Royle Family” in 2001.  The daughter of Irish immigrants Bert and Maureen, Aherne grew up on a council estate in Wythenshawe, Manchester, and her first job was answering phones at BBC offices in the city. The actor’s illness first came to light in 2014 when she agreed to take part in an appeal in Manchester that was asking patients and caretakers to help improve standards of care.  In pledging her support, she said: “I’ve had cancer and my brother’s had cancer and we know how it affects people.” She made her return to TV in 2014 as the narrator of popular show “Gogglebox”. She was forced to take time off from narrating the show earlier this year while she received treatment for the disease.