As tributes for Caroline Aherne continue to pour in, it has emerged that the actress may have died alone. According to the Mirror, relatives of The Royle Family star were unaware that her cancer had taken a turn for the worse and she spent her final moments alone at her bungalow in Timperley, Cheshire.

According to insiders, Aherne broke the news that her the disease was terminal in May, but then didn't update them when her condition worsened.

"It was too quick, we didn't expect her to go. She wasn't in a hospice. She was just at home. She left on her own," a relative said.

Earlier this year, it was though her health was improving after her former The Royle Family co-star Sue Johnston spoke about her during an appearance on This Morning. "She has been [poorly] but she's pretty good now. She's just brilliant. I love her. She's my daughter," she told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Announcing her death on 2July, the 52-year-old comedian's publicist Neil Reading said: "Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away, after a brave battle with cancer. The Bafta-award-winning writer and comedy actor died earlier today at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester. She was 52. The family ask for privacy at this very sad time."

Ricky Tomlinson, who played her father in the hit BBC sitcom, led the online tributes describing her as a "kind, funny, witty" person, who never complained about the hand she had been dealt. "She never talked about her health, ever. I can never ever remember her complaining," he said. "She must have gone through a lot but I never saw her looking unwell."

Solitary deaths in 2016

Prince

On 21 April, millions of Prince fans were left devastated after the Purple Rain singer was found dead at his Paisley Park home following a self-administered overdose of powerful painkiller Fentanyl. According to the autopsy report, at the time of his death, the 5ft 3in singer weighed just 112lbs.

Prince singer live
Prince died on 21 AprilJonathan Daniel/Getty

David Gest

US producer and reality TV star David Gest was found dead at the Four Seasons hotel, in Canary Wharf in "unexplained" circumstances on 12 April. He was 62.

David Gest
David Gest died at a London hotel on 12 AprilGetty