Eddie Large’s wife Patsy McGinnis has shared her heartbreaking final conversation with the comedy legend, following his death last week.
Appearing on Monday’s Good Morning Britain alongside their son Ryan and Eddie’s long-term stage partner Syd Little, Patsy broke down in tears as she recalled her last words to her husband of 37 years.
She told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “I wanted to talk to him longer but he said, ‘Darling, I am going to have to go now’. I said, ‘Don’t worry, love – I will speak to you in the morning’ but that wasn’t to be as in the early hours of the morning – at about four o’clock – they rang to say he had passed away and we couldn’t be with him.
“I never thought it would end like this, I really didn’t, and I know a lot of families are going through the same thing. It is such a terrible time.
“But I wish we could have been with him and even when we… Trying to get a funeral together, we still won’t be able to see him. It’s heartbreaking.”
Patsy continued: “There is so much love out there for him and it has been overwhelming and so comforting. I know Eddie would be over the moon.”
Eddie died on Thursday morning, after contracting coronavirus while being treated for heart failure in hospital.
He underwent a life-saving heart transplant nearly two decades ago, but his son Ryan said the coronavirus was the “final straw”.
“He deteriorated quite quickly after getting the coronavirus,” Ryan said. “There were other things going on but that was really the final straw and he wasn’t strong enough to fight that off.
“I guess a blessing in a way is that we see these videos and we hear all these stories of other people going through and suffering with the virus.
“But thankfully dad never got to the point where it was absolutely the worst, with the ventilation and the horror stories you see.
“Dad didn’t quite get to that part, which is a blessing in a way.”
Eddie’s comedy partner Syd said he believed there was “a right party going on up in heaven with Frank Carson and Norman Collier and Eddie”.
He added: “Eddie was 90% of the act. I was only 10%. A very valuable 10% but I was. I miss him madly.”
Little And Large began their TV career in the early 1970s, first appearing on the variety talent search Opportunity Knocks, and later landed their own sketch series The Little And Large Show.
Their show ran for 11 series between 1978 and 1991, with the duo also appearing in the ITV impressions show Who Do You Do?, alongside a host of other British stars.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.