Keith Harris
Harris was best known for his act with green puppet OrvilleGetty

Celebrities have taken to social media to pay tribute to famed ventriloquist Keith Harris following his death from cancer.

The star, best known for his act with green puppet Orville, passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning (28 April). He was 67 years old.

"It is with great sadness I announce the death of my friend and client Keith Harris (67) whom I have known for well over 20 years and managed for the past 15 years," his agent Robert C Kelly said in a statement on Twitter.

"In 2013 Keith suffered a loss of appetite and a swelling in his abdomen, initially unsure of the cause, the doctors eventually removed his spleen and after a biopsy began treating Keith for cancer."

Kelly explained that Harris was eventually diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer with no known cure.

"Despite Keith undergoing long and difficult stem-cell replacement treatment during the summer of 2014 and appearing to have fully recovered, it became clear in January of 2015 that Keith was once again becoming unwell."

As news broke of his passing, presenter Keith Chegwin described him as a "great entertainer".

Conservative MP Sajid Javid said that Harris had brought "joy to my childhood".

Fellow entertainer Les Dennis and entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne also expressed their shock.

At the height of his career that spanned over 50 years, Harris had his own BBC One Saturday night programme The Keith Harris Show and scored a Top 10 hit with Orville's 1982 Song, I Wish I Could Fly, which sold 400,000 copies.

The entertainer also performed at birthday parties for the young princes William and Harry.

Harris is survived by his fourth wife Sarah, and his children Kitty, 15 and Shenton, 13, as well as a daughter, Skye, 27 from his first marriage to singer Jacqui Scott.