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The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson’s brother dies from Covid-19

Ricky’s brother has passed away (Picture: rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)

Ricky Tomlinson’s brother has died from Covid-19.

The Royle Family star confirmed the sad news as he urged Liverpudlians to avail of the city’s testing scheme.

The 81-year-old filmed a video for Liverpool City Council, in which he revealed he had taken one of the home testing kits provided by the council.

Tomlinson said: ‘I sent away for one of these Covid testing kits. I’ve done it and I’m sending it back. Then, I’m going to send for another one and repeat it again, do the test and send it back.

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‘It’s so important. Covid is a killer. I know only too well because one of my brother has just died from Covid-19.’

The actor continued: ‘Don’t let it happen to you. Send away for your kit today, and do what you’re supposed to do. Save your life and your loved ones around you.’

Tomlinson, best known for playing Jim Royle on the classic sitcom The Royle Family, grew up with three brothers, Albert, David and Ronnie, in Everton in the aftermath of World War II.

He told the Guardian in 2016: ‘We lived in a typical two-up, two-down house with a toilet in the backyard and us four boys in a big bed. Luckily, we all got on and are still very close.’

As part of the pilot testing scheme in Liverpool, which began on November 6, anyone who lives or works in Liverpool can have a coronavirus test, even if they are not showing symptoms.

Call The Midwife actor Stephen McGann also encouraged people to take part.

He said his brother Joe, who appears in soap Hollyoaks, and their mother had been for a test.

In a video posted on Twitter, he said: ‘My own mum and my big brother Joe have already been down for a test and they’re going to go back next week and have another one and I am absolutely chuffed about that because this mass testing pilot puts Liverpool at the front of testing, at the front of research.

‘We are where we should be in public health, all coming together to find out how to do this properly to benefit everybody else.

‘I think it’s a brilliant scheme. If you haven’t been down there yet please consider going down.’

Figures from Thursday showed 144,548 Liverpool residents had been tested since the scheme began, with many using the lateral flow tests which give results within an hour.

About 2,000 soldiers have been deployed to the city to deliver the tests.

Speaking when he visited a testing site in the city on Monday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the scheme was ‘going in the right direction’ but they would like more people to take part.

The pilot was planned to run for 10 to 14 days initially but is now expected to last until the end of November.

Metro.co.uk has contacted a rep for Tomlinson for comment. 

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