British comedian Freddie Starr found dead at Costa del Sol home

The comedian Freddie Starr was found dead at his home in Mijas in southern Spain on Thursday. He was 76.

British comedian Freddie Starr found dead at Costa del Sol home
Freddie Starr / Facebook

“This is Freddie’s manager. Just to confirm Freddie has passed away. R.i.p to our greatest comedian of all time,” a brief statement on Facebook read.

Press reports suggest he was found sitting in his chair at his home by his carer during the afternoon on Thursday.

The Merseyside-born Starr rose to fame as the singer of the Merseybeat group the Midnighters but became a nationwide figure after appearing in 1970s talent show Opportunity Knocks.

He had lived in Spain since 2015 after losing a damages claim against his accuser following a 2012 investigation as part of Operation Yewtree over an allegation of historical sexual abuse.

Starr spent 18 months on bail but was then told he would not be prosecuted. He sued for damages and lost, apparently clocking up a legal bill estimated at £1million.

He told the Mail on Sunday that the allegations had left him “suicidal”.

That famous headline – Freddie always denied it was true. 

Tributes were paid by fellow comics.

Comedian Bobby Davro tweeted:

Another fellow comic, Jim Davidson, also paid tribute:


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Finally, Costa del Sol town imposes weight limit on donkey rides

For decades, they have transported tourists through the narrow cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses in the picturesque hilltop town of Mijas on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

Finally, Costa del Sol town imposes weight limit on donkey rides
Photo: Katerina7chuya/Depositphotos

The traditional “donkey taxis” have been running since the 1960s when local farmers worked out that tourists would pay to be transported by their beasts of burden on tours round the village.

But finally after years of campaigning, the town hall is poised to introduce a raft of new measures to improve the welfare of the town’s donkeys and that includes setting a weight limit on what they are allowed to carry.

The new bylaws will ban anyone over the weight of 80kg (12 and a half stone) from taking the donkey taxi, in what is being viewed as a compromise between animal rights activists who want the donkey taxis outlawed altogether and the muleteers whose livelihoods depend on the them.

The new measures, which will be effective from 2020 depending on a public consultation and final council vote, will introduce regular veterinary checks and improved welfare conditions with compulsory rest breaks, shade and refreshments and an improved stabling area.

One of the key points is a ban on anyone riding the donkey if they weigh in at over 80kg.

Animals rights groups claim the animals should not carry anything over a third of their own body weight.

The measures were drawn up “in consultation with both the muleteers and different animal welfare groups,” explained Nicolás Cruz, the local Councillor for Transportation and Mobility in Mijas.