Royle Family star Caroline Aherne has sent a get well message to cancer-stricken actor Geoffrey Hughes.

Caroline – who starred with the Geoffrey in the BBC sitcom – said: “Geoffrey is a fighter. He has beaten this cancer before and I know he will beat it again.”

Geoffrey, 66, who played binman Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street before appearing as Twiggy in The Royle Family, is having radiotherapy after his prostate cancer returned.

Caroline, 46, added: “I am thinking about Geoffrey at this very difficult time.

“He is a warm and talented man and we are all looking forward to working with him again on the Royle Family Christmas Special.”

Geoffrey thought he had beaten the disease last year but was rushed to hospital at the weekend after his wife Sue found him collapsed with back pain at their Isle of Wight home.

A spokeswoman for the star said last night: “Geoffrey is feeling much better. He’s hoping to be out of hospital at the end of the week.”