Denise Welch shares that her dad has died

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It was a family affair on Coronation Street today (Thursday), as it was revealed the real life father of actress Denise Welch (left) has been signed up to play her on-screen father-in-law.  Vin Welch (right) has been brought in as Bob Barnes whose son Des will be seen marrying Natalie Horrocks on TV tomorrow night.   The 62-year-old Geordie took up acting recently after 40 years as a sweet manufacturer and only told the soap's bosses who he was,  after successfully auditioning for the role.   (Photo by Bob Collier - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Denise Welch with dad Vin. (Bob Collier/PA Images via Getty Images)

Denise Welch has announced the death of her father Vin, saying "I can't function I'm so grief stricken".

The actor and Loose Women star, 63, had shared regular updates on her dad's health and hospital stay over recent months, but told the sad news on Wednesday that he had passed away the night before.

Posting a photo on Instagram of her hand holding her beloved dad's, she wrote: "The words I’ve dreaded saying all of my life.

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"Last night at 11pm, we lost our dad, the life force that was Vin Welch.

"After making a miraculous recovery recently from major surgeries, pneumonia plus his existing pulmonary fibrosis was more than even he could take.

Denise Welch opened up about her relationship with her son Matty on Monday's Loose Women. (REX)
Denise Welch has spoken about her dad many times on 'Loose Women'. (REX)

"He left us surrounded by his family who could not have loved anyone more.

"I can’t quite function as I’m so grief stricken, but I know he meant so much to so many people, even those who’d never met him.

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"I’ve never seen anyone fight to stay longer at a party than dad and last night was no different. He loved life and lived it to the full like no other."

She also thanked the nurses at Durham University Hospital who had cared for him in his final days, before signing off: "Love you dad. Heartbroken."

Welch had spoken many times on Loose Women about her heartache over hospital visitor restrictions during the pandemic.

He had previously appeared on the ITV chat show alongside her, and Wednesday's episode opened with her co-stars offering their condolences.

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Commenting on her Instagram post, Ruth Langsford wrote: "So, so sorry Denise….he was a one off and there’s going to be one hell of a party in heaven. I know your heart is breaking but grief is the price we pay for love. You will carry him with you always. RIP Vin."

Judi Love added: "Denise I am heartbroken for you, this pain is difficult. Your father was a fine example of life and light.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: (L to R) Kelle Bryan, Kaye Adams, Stacey Solomon, Judi Love, Andrea McLean, Coleen Nolan, Brenda Edwards, Linda Robson, Nadia Sawalha, Denise Welch and Saira Khan of Loose Women attend the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
The 'Loose Women' offered words of comfort. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

"We all know how much you loved each other and saw how hard you cared for your dad especially over this last year. His light will shine on through you xxx"

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor wrote: "Den, what an incredible man he was. Such a beautiful soul. He will be forever in our hearts. Love you xxxx."

Other friends offering their sympathies included Lizzie Cundy, Chelsee Healey, Dame Kelly Holmes, Suranne Jones and Baga Chipz.

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