Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas' dad Dougie James tragically dies aged 72

Ryan Thomas after leaving Celebrity Big Brother
(Image credit: Getty)

Tributes have poured in to the Thomas family, after Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas' dad passed away aged 72.

Ryan Thomas and fiancee Lucy Mecklenburgh

Ryan Thomas is engaged to Lucy Mecklenburgh

It comes just months after Ryan celebrated the arrival of his first child with Lucy Mecklenburgh.

Dougie James was a soul singer and toured with the likes of The Jackson 5 with his band Dougie James And The Soul Train.

BBC Manchester confirmed the sad news as Mike Shaft paid tribute to the 70s music legend.

"He played all over the north west, in those days when they were playing places like Golden Garter they'd have bands on, an American band and then Dougie James," he said.

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“Wonderful guy, always a smile on his face. Always a happy story. Very sad news.”

It is not yet clear how Dougie passed away.

Not only was Dougie part of the entertainment world, his three sons - Ryan, Adam and Scott - are all in the limelight too.

Ryan, 36, is a former Coronation Street star and Dougie's twin sons have appeared on Emmerdale and Love Island respectively.

He split from the boys' mum when the twins were born, which ended in a bitter divorce. Ryan previously opened up about being left by his father.

Dougie's passing comes just months after the boys travelled to India with their dad for an ITV documentary exploring their heritage.

The show, Mancs in Mumbai, was a "special" experience for the boys in getting close to their once-estranged dad again.

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On getting to spend that quality time with their dad, Adam said, "Getting to take him along on this journey with us was very special. It's pretty much his show, he steals this show from start to finish.

"So he was finding out about his dad, but we were also finding out about our dad also."

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Although none of the Thomas boys have broken their silence on social media yet, tributes have poured in for Dougie.

"@ryanjamesthomas So sorry to hear such sad news. I loved getting to know Dougie on-screen in your tv show. He was such a character. Sending love & strength to you, Adam & Scott & the rest of your family," wrote one fan.

Another said, "Really sad news today the legend that is Dougie james has passed away, one if Englands greatest singer entertainers. We had some great times with Alex”hurricane higgins” and bought so much pleasure to so many people, he will be greatly missed. RIP DOUGIE."

Celebrity writer

Georgia is a Celebrity and Royal Writer working across GoodTo and Woman & Home, and the Director and Founder of communications company Farq Media. Prior to this she was Online Editor at New! Magazine – managing all of their digital content and social media accounts. Where she interviewed all of the hottest reality TV stars and spent far too much time commuting to London. She trained at Nottingham Trent University – where she achieved First Class Honours in Print Journalism whilst juggling copious amounts of work experience, freelance writing, blogging and having far too much fun with the dance society.