Towie's Jess and Mark Wright 'heartbroken' after Nanny Pat dies at 80
The Only Way Is Essex stars Jessica and Mark Wright have paid tribute to their Nanny Pat, who has died at the age of 80.
Nanny Pat - full name Pat Brooker - was a much-loved figure on Towie.
Mark thanked fans on Twitter, saying he was heartbroken but "overwhelmed" by everyone's support.
" To know good ole Nanny was loved by so many is the best feeling in the world. Thankyou," he wrote.
Jess wrote: "Heart broken does not even come close to how my family & I are feeling. Thank you so much for your support my Nan was so loved."
With a love heart emoticon, she added: "An angel".
Nanny Pat died on Wednesday morning after a short illness.
She had five children, including daughter Carol Wright, 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A statement on behalf of the Wright and Brooker families said: "Sadly our amazing, courageous and beautiful Nanny Pat passed away this morning after a short illness. We are overwhelmed by sadness, and the whole family ask for privacy at this horrible time."
A number of Towie stars expressed their sadness at her death, with Dan Osborne tweeting: "RIP nanny Pat.. Such a lovely lady, always had a smile on your face! Thinking about all of the Wright family."
Lauren Pope, who was in the show for five years, wrote: "Devastated to hear the news about Nanny Pat, such a beautiful woman. All my love &thoughts to the family @MissJessWright_ @MarkWright_"
Original Towie cast member Harry Derbidge tweeted: "I can't believe it, RIP nanny Pat. You was the biggest legend ever and you will continue to be, my thoughts go to the all the wrights."
TV personality Denise Van Outen posted two messages on Twitter, the first saying: "My thoughts are with the Wright family #nannypat."
She then posted an emoticon of a broken heart, saying she was "heartbroken to hear of the sad passing of Nanny Pat. As a massive Towie fan & small part of the Towie family, I will miss her greatly."
Reality TV star Katie Price tweeted: "My Thoughts and Prayers goes out to The Wright family. RIP Nanny Pat."
Nanny Pat became a household name after her grandson signed up to take part in Towie.
In 2012, she told the Daily Mail: "Mark started filming for the show and he kept talking about me to the producers and before I knew what was happening I was starring.
"I told him it would just be a one-off thing but I can't get out of it now. I can't go anywhere without getting recognised these days because of the fame."
She gained a fan following thanks to her frank attitude and witty one-liners.
She said: "I am a typical Essex girl, well I hope so! I am nice, but I am just plain, unlike all the young girls with their fake tans and big heels. I do love handbags though."
Born in 1935, Pat Brooker had numerous jobs, from factory work to pub landlady to dinner lady.
The matriarch celebrated her 80th birthday on the ITVBe reality show in November, arriving dressed as the Queen in a lavish horse-drawn carriage for a royal wedding-themed party.
Surrounded by friends and family, she was given a framed photograph of her late husband Charles Brooker, to whom she was married for 52 years, by her granddaughter Jess.
Nanny Pat released a memoir in 2012 about her life and her childhood in the Blitz-ravaged East End, called Penny Sweets And Cobbled Streets.
In the book, she said: "It was such a terrible thing to live through the war. I don't think if it happened today half the kids could get through it. I really don't think they could suffer it."