TV funnyman Matt Lucas has said he is quitting microblogging site Twitter after a fan made a sick joke about the death of his former partner Kevin McGee.

Matt – best known for the shows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me – broke the news to his 565,000 followers on Saturday following the exchange with the teenage tweeter, who called himself oOfuscoOo and who made reference to Kevin’s suicide in 2009.

“I’m disappointed he thinks jokes about the suicide of my former partner are funny,” Matt said. “It’s time to shut down my account.”

Since then he has received a huge amount of support from his followers, with many begging him not to leave the site.

TV presenter Richard Madeley was among those who tweeted Mathttps://cma2wotv.ipcmediasecure.com/?class=data&cat_id=3&id=15586&action=editt, saying “If you get abusive tweets, you know the sender is inadequate, sexually incompetent and has a jealously complex. Tweet them that and then block ’em.”

Matt and Kevin were together for six years and underwent a civil partnership ceremony in 2006 but split up in 2008. He was found dead in his Edinburgh flat 10 months later.