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Ricky Tomlinson reveals brother has died from coronavirus while making testing plea

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Ricky Tomlinson has shared that he's lost one of his brother to the coronavirus. (AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)
Ricky Tomlinson has shared that he's lost one of his brother to the coronavirus. (AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)

Ricky Tomlinson has shared that one of his brothers had died from the coronavirus while urging people to take part in a mass testing pilot in Liverpool.

The Royle Family star featured in a video shared to the Liverpool City Council's official Twitter account, where he said: “Covid is a killer. I know only too well, because one of my brothers has just died from Covid-19.

“Don’t let it happen to you, send away for your kit today and do what you’re supposed to do. Save your life and your loved ones around you.”

Read more: Defence Secretary says Liverpool coronavirus mass-testing pilot ‘going in right direction

The 81-year-old, who has lived in the city nearly all his life, said he had used a home testing kit.

Anyone who lives or works in Liverpool is able to have a coronavirus test whether or not they are showing symptoms, as part of the pilot scheme.

Figures from Thursday showed 144,548 Liverpool residents had been tested since the scheme began, with many using the lateral flow tests which give results within an hour.

Watch: Mass coronavirus testing is underway in Liverpool

About 2,000 soldiers have been deployed to the city to deliver the tests.

Liverpool-born actor Stephen McGann has also encouraged people to get tested.

Read more: Experts call for Liverpool's pilot coronavirus programme to be 'paused'

He claimed his brother Joe, also an actor, had been for a test as had their mother.

In a video posted to Twitter, the Call the Midwife actor said: “My own mum and my big brother Joe have already been down for a test and they’re going to go back next week and have another one and I am absolutely chuffed about that because this mass testing pilot puts Liverpool at the front of testing, at the front of research.

Stephen McGann attends the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Stephen McGann attends the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

“We are where we should be in public health, all coming together to find out how to do this properly to benefit everybody else.

“I think it’s a brilliant scheme. If you haven’t been down there yet please consider going down.”

With additional reporting by PA.

Watch: Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston remember the late Caroline Aherne.