Absolutely Fabulous star Dame June Whitfield has died

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Shane Allen, controller of BBC Comedy, said: "June Whitfield was the North Star of British comedy".

Fellow Ab Fab actress Joanna Lumley praised Whitfield's "sensational talent" while Julia Sawalha described her as a "great source of inspiration".

"I was so nervous working with her but she had a way of making you feel comfortable and special". She was 93 years old.

When Whitfield was appointed with the honor of damehood at the age of 92, Charles, Prince of Wales told her this celebration had been "some time coming". I cried then too'.

At 89, Whitfield appeared in television soap EastEnders as Sister Ruth, a nun with a secret.

Stars such as Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Ronnie Barker, Benny Hill, Bob Monkhouse and Tommy Cooper all clamoured to work with her.

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Writer Jack Monroe remembered working with Dame June for the dramatisation of her first book, A Girl Called Jack, on Radio 4. She also appeared in Last of the Summer Wine, and had a recurring role in The Green Green Grass. Hit after hit! Take it from Here Terry and June Absolutely Fabulous over seven decade.

Dame June met her husband Tim Aitchison in the 1950s. She didn't get me sacked. Very English, and nothing wrong with that'. Always graceful & elegant with a real comic glint in her eye & (absolutely) fabulous timing'.

One of the producers on that show, Jon Plowman, led the condolences.

She went on to have an esteemed and wide-ranging career in TV, film, theatre and radio over eight decades and was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama and entertainment.

In a statement to the Press Association, Saunders said: "It's so tremendously sad to lose June".

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