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Ralf Little: 'No one's had more impact on me professionally or personally than Caroline Aherne'

Ralf Little and Caroline Aherne in The Royle Family
(Image credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Ralf Little pays tribute to his Royle Family co-star and friend, the late Caroline Aherne

Ralf Little has paid tribute to his friend and colleague Caroline Aherne who died, aged 52, on July 2 after a long battle with cancer.

Caroline worked with Ralf when he played dogsbody ‘Our Antony', the brother of her lazy character Denise in The Royle Family, which she wrote with Craig Cash, who played Denise’s dozy husband Dave.

"Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash gave me a career. It is hard to imagine anyone who has had more of an impact on my life professionally or personally and she was always really supportive of my work," Ralf told TV Times at the launch of new Channel 5 comedy Borderline, which he is executive producing.

"I was not going to be an actor until then; I was just a 17-year-old skinny kid who was dragged along for the ride of a lifetime."

Ralf admitted that shooting the BBC sitcom, which ran from 1998 to 2000 and was followed by several much-anticipated Christmas specials, was fun from start to finish

"It was essentially about turning up to work, having tears of laughter for 12 hours, then going to the pub and carrying on laughing. I’m amazed we filmed anything because all I can remember is laughing all day," says Ralf.

"Caroline just saw the world differently from everyone else and was able to find humour in the minutiae of life. We lost one of the good ones. It is a big loss for all of us."

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Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.