Much-loved Hull TV star and market dealer Tony Herridge has passed away suddenly.

The city's answer to Del Boy and known as 'Tony Tidy', Tony became a popular character in Hull after he starred with his family in Channel 5 show, The Great British Benefits Handout.

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The 57-year-old passed away last month, although his family are yet to comment publicly.

He leaves behind his partner, Diane Esders, and their son Michael Herridge.

Tony with partner Diane and son Michael
Tony with partner Diane and son Michael

The family were thrust into the public spotlight in 2015 when they featured on the show, in which they were handed a lump sum of £26,000 to set up a business so they could come off benefits.

Its aim was to give families the chance to break out of the cycle of hardship after living on benefits, and saw Tony and Diane set up their second-hand goods venture, Tidy & Sons.

Using the money to buy a van, the family bought unwanted items off Hull residents having clearouts, before selling them on at Walton Street market.

He later said the show "changed our lives".

"We love working that's what we love. Day in, day out, day in," he said during the show. "Now we've got to keep that going, we want that to last. We never want to go back on benefits."

Speaking to Hull Live in 2017, they said: "A lot of people doubted us, but I think we have come through with flying colours."

Although it is not yet known how Tony passed away, his Facebook page has been changed to a memorial page as a way to preserve his memory.

Tony announced in July 2017 that the family had taken the "heartbreaking" decision to close down Tidy & Sons.

Writing on the business' Facebook page, the family said: "Tidy & Sons have had to stop trading. We did not want to but we had no choice it just wasn't working any more for us.

“This will be the last update for you unfortunately due to struggling and trying to keep ourselves afloat.

“It breaks our hearts to have to do this.”

They added that they had decided not to return to benefits, however.

The post added: “Before the question comes we will answer now, no we are not back on benefits.

“We would like to thank you all for all your support that you all gave us from the start and just to say sorry to you all for letting you all down, you have all been so lovely to us.”

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