The actor passed away on Friday

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Comic actor Mel Smith has died at the age of 60.

The British star – who was known for his roles in sketch shows Alas Smith And Jones and Not The Nine O’Clock News – had a heart attack at his home on Friday.

Mel worked with Griff Rhys Jones on both programmes and formed a long-lasting partnership with him.

The pair set up the independent television company Talkback Productions together in 1981.

‘I still can’t believe this has happened. To everybody who ever met him, Mel was a force for life. He had a relish for it that seemed utterly inexhaustible,’ says Griff, 59.

‘He inspired love and utter loyalty and he gave it in return. I will look back on the days working with him as some of the funniest times that I have ever spent.’

Celebrities including Keith Lemon‘s alter ego Leigh Francis and Lord Alan Sugar have sent their condolences on Twitter.

‘sad about Mel Smith. Can’t believe it,’ Tweeted Leigh.

Alan said: ‘Let me join others in mentioning the sad news over Mel Smith death, funny and clever man. RIP.’

Simon Pegg wrote: ‘Sad to hear about Mel Smith. His influence on contemporary British comedy both as a performer and producer is impossible to calculate.’

James Corden added: ‘Thank you for the laughs Mel Smith. RIP.’

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Anna Duff