Russ Abbot has paid tribute to former co-star Bella Emberg after her death aged 80.

Abbot described the comedy actress, who appeared alongside him as Blunderwoman on The Russ Abbot Show, as “a huge comedy talent” and “a woman of immense warmth and generosity”.

During a television career spanning six decades, Emberg appeared in several hit programmes including The Benny Hill Show, Doctor Who and Z Cars.

Most recently she had just finished filming In The Long Run, a Sky One comedy created by Idris Elba, according to the BBC.

However it was her turn as Blunderwoman, the comic sidekick of Abbot’s Cooperman in the 1980s, that she will be best remembered.

In a statement issued to the Press Association, Abbot, 70, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I heard the news about Bella. She was not only a great sport but a huge comedy talent.

“A genuinely funny woman, but most of all a woman of immense warmth and generosity. I count myself very lucky to have worked alongside her.

“She really was a one off. RIP Bella”