Former Emmerdale and Coronation Street star Johnny Leeze has passed away after testing positive for coronavirus and suffering from underlying health conditions.

Johnny, 78, played farmer Ned Glover in ITV soap Emmerdale from 1994 until 2000.

In Corrie he played milkman Harry Clayton who bought 11 Coronation Street in 1985.

He lived there with his wife Connie and their two teenage daughters Andrea and Sue, but the family did a flit when Andrea found out she was pregnant with Terry Duckworth's baby.

Johnny Leeze as Ned and Tonicha Jeronimo as Linda Fowler in Emmerdale

Announcing the devastating news on social media this morning his brother Phil wrote a moving tribute to the actor.

"It is with deep regret to inform you all my brother John passed away this morning," he wrote.

"A lot of you will remember him as Ned Glover in Emmerdale, or comedian Johnny Leeze, on the club scene.

"He had Covid, and underlying health issues.

"He made thousands laugh. He will be missed greatly by us all.

"Rest in peace John. Your loving brother Phil and sisters Pam and Sheila."

He added: "I know you will have them all in stitches up there. Fly high on angels wings."

"Thinking of you all I'm so sorry for your loss me and my mam loved watching him in Emmerdale Farm, he was a brilliant actor," said one fan.

John played Ned from 1994 to 2000

"So sorry to hear this sad news and sorry for your loss. "Ned Glover was one of my all time favourite Emmerdale characters. RIP John," said another.

His daughter Holly confirmed the news, telling the Daily Star that he had been ill for two weeks and had tested positive for COVID -19 he day before he died.

She also revealed he suffered a heart attack on the morning of his death and had been taken into hospital.

Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter

You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here

She said: "He was my friend, he was such a strong, strong man.

"He was such a great guy, a really funny guy. He was loved by everybody really."

Johnny appeared in Coronation Street three times playing Mr Slater in 1982, Harry Clayton in 1985 and Laurie Johnstone in one episode in 2005.

His acting credits also include All Creatures Great and Small, Doctors, Early Doors Heartbeat, Last of the Summer Wine, The Royal, Life On Mars and Phoenix Nights.

His Emmerdale character Ned was the patriarch of the Glover family and a childhood friend of Jack Sugden.

John's screen appearances date back to 1982, when he made his TV debut in the sitcom Open All Hours in a bit part.