Dennis Waterman, the star of popular TV shows like The Sweeney and New Tricks, has died aged 74. 

The English actor, born in Clapham, London passed away on Sunday afternoon his family have said.

A statement said: "We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis, passed away very peacefully at his home in Spain."

He died on Sunday afternoon with his wife Pam at his side, they said.

"The family kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time," they added.

Tributes for the beloved actor have already started pouring in with many taking to social media to express their sadness at the news.

Comedian, Matt Lucas has been leading tributes, writing on Twitter: "I grew up watching Dennis Waterman's iconic performances in The Sweeney and Minder. His guest appearance in our Little Britain Live show at Hammersmith Apollo - in which he hilariously duetted with David's absurd impersonation of him - remains the absolute highlight of my career."

Waterman began his career in the BBC drama William, and fast became one of the well-known faces on British television during the 1970s

He is perhaps best known for playing Detective Sergeant George Carter opposite John Thaw in ITV's police drama The Sweeney.

Waterman is all beloved for starring in Minder between  1979 to 1994 as Terry McCann, the bodyguard and partner to George Cole's wheeler-dealer Arthur Daley.

You may also recognise him for his comedy roles in On the Up and Stay Lucky, before he moved on to a long-running role as the Cockney detective in New Tricks, which ran from 2003 to 2015.