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The Royle Family star pulls off surprise reunion in front of fans-Pierra Willix-Entertainment – Metro

‘This was a wonderful surprise.’

The Royle Family star pulls off surprise reunion in front of fans-Pierra Willix-Entertainment – Metro

Two stars of The Royle Family have reunited (Picture: UKTV)

Sue Johnston surprised her former The Royle Family co-star Ricky Tomlinson this week by turning up at his stage show.

From 1998 until 2000, and in specials from 2006 to 2012, Sue and Ricky played couple Jim and Barbara Royle, a family from Manchester who viewers got to know alongside their daughter Denise (Caroline Aherne), son Antony (Ralf Little) and Denise’s fiancé (later husband) David (Craig Cash).

The series portrayed the working-class family life at the turn of the millennium, with most of the episodes taking place inside their home, largely in the living room.

Although there were plans for another special episode, they were scrapped following the death of actor and writer Aherne, who died of cancer aged 52 in 2016.

In the years since, the show’s patriarch and matriarch have gone on to appear together on Celebrity Gogglebox, but this week also shocked fans on stage.

During the performance of his show Irish Annie’s at Stockport Plaza, actor and comedian Ricky was taken aback when Sue strutted out.

Ricky Tomlinson was surprised on stage by Sue Johnston this week (Picture: Terry Blackburn/ Backgrid)

The pair then shared stories of their time on the beloved sitcom (Picture: Terry Blackburn/ Backgrid)

The musical play by Asa Murphy celebrates the ‘best of Irish culture’ and features well-known live band The Shenanigans.

However, during the show Sue turned up, saying to her long-time TV partner: ‘I thought I would find you at Irish Annie’s pub.’

The pair then went on to regale the crowd with memories of The Royle Family and soap opera Brookside, with Sue staying on stage throughout the production and dancing to the show’s Irish tunes.

Speaking after the show, Ricky said he had ‘no idea’ Sue was making an appearance, but that it had been a ‘wonderful surprise’.

They also appeared on the soap Brookside together in the 1980s (Picture: Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

‘We have worked together for so many years and I love being in her company, so to see Sue make a surprise appearance in Irish Annie’s made the show even more special,’ he said, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.

As well as appearing on both Brookside and The Royle Family together, the duo also recently had their own More4 show in which they took a trip down memory lane looking back on four decades of working together.

Ricky, Sue & a Trip or Two, saw them visiting landmark locations from their lives and the special destinations the pair have always wanted to see together.

After teaming up for Gogglebox, Ricky also joked it was a ‘full circle moment’ after Gogglebox was called ‘the real Royle Family’ when it launched.

The Royle Family is streaming on NOW and Amazon Prime Video.

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