Denise Welsh has revealed her father Vin has died at the age of 84.
The Loose Women star, 63, took to Instagram on Tuesday night to share the sad news and told how she was ‘so grief stricken’ she ‘couldn’t quite function’.
Denise explained how Vin – a former Drag Queen – had passed away after having major surgery and battling pneumonia as well as dealing with his existing pulmonary fibrosis.
Sad: Denise Welsh has revealed her father Vin has passed away (pictured together last June)
Denise wrote alongside a photo of her holding her dad’s hand: ‘The words I’ve dreaded saying all of my life.
‘Last night at 11pm, we lost our dad, the life force that was Vin Welch. After making a miraculous recovery recently from major surgeries, pneumonia plus his existing pulmonary fibrosis was more than even he could take.
‘He left us surrounded by his family who could not have loved anyone more.
Upset: The Loose Women star, 63, took to Instagram on Tuesday night to share the sad news as she posted a picture holding her dad’s hand
Difficult: She penned in the caption: ‘The words I’ve dreaded saying all of my life. Last night at 11pm, we lost our dad, the life force that was Vin Welch’
Family: Denise is the daughter of the late Ann and Vin Welch
‘I can’t quite function as I’m so grief stricken, but I know he meant so much to so many people, even those who’d never met him.
‘I’ve never seen anyone fight to stay longer at a party than dad and last night was no different. He loved life and lived it to the full like no other.
She continued: ‘The nurses in Ward 6 at Durham University hospital will forever be in our hearts as they gave dad the most peaceful passing anyone could wish for. They adored him and he them. Heather, Helen, Lauren, Naz, Chloe, Graham, Debs to name but a few. We will NEVER forget you.
‘Love you dad. Heartbroken.’
Vin worked as a top drag queen in the bars and clubs of the north of England for many years, and had an alter-ego called Raquel.
Denise previously revealed that she channeled her father while competing on Dancing On Ice in 2011 with partner Matt Evers.
‘I love drag queens. I’m inspired by them!’ she shared. ‘I’ve never felt so energized. Attitude magazine said the gayometer explodes when I’m around. My dad was a drag queen.’
Journey: Denise has shared several updates on her father’s health on Loose Women in recent months
She wrote in a tribute: ‘I can’t quite function as I’m so grief stricken, but I know he meant so much to so many people, even those who’d never met him’
Friend Ruth Langsford was among the first to offer her condolences, writing: ‘I’m so desperately sorry. He was a life force. He twinkled and sparkled like no other and has left a Vin shaped hole in all our heart’s Den. He was truly special.’
Shirlie Kemp commented under the post: ‘Sending you much love, those words are so painful.’
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite said: ‘Oh no, I am so so sorry Den… devastated for you. Sending you love & light.’
Back in March Denise revealed that she had rush to her childhood home to care for her sick father after he had ‘a bit of a fall’.
The TV star was appearing via video link on Loose Women from her former home in County Durham, where she had told the panel that she and her sister were sharing the care for their dad Vin, who had ‘not been well since Christmas.’
Discussing her reaction to learning he had fallen, Denise said that it was a ‘shock to the system’, but assured fans that he was ‘alright’. She added that he was due to have surgery on his gall bladder.
Shock: Back in March Denise revealed that she had rush to her childhood home to care for her sick father after he had ‘a bit of a fall’
She explained: ‘My dad Vin, friend of the show, has not been well since Christmas. He’s got to have a gallbladder operation. He had a bit of a fall the other night.
‘So my sister and I are sharing care for him at the moment.
‘I drove up hastily to see him. And he wants everybody to know that he’s alright, but it was a bit of a shock to the system.’
She went on: ‘So I’m coming here from County Durham, where I grew up. It’s full of nostalgic feelings for me.’
It came after Denise reunited with her dad in June last year after being separated for three months amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Tough: It came after Denise reunited with her dad in June last year after being separated for three months amid the coronavirus outbreak (pictured together in 1998)
The Loose Women star shared a light-hearted video of the reunion to her Instagram page, with the pair enjoying a socially distance dance as they stood outside in the garden.
The father-daughter duo looked to be in good spirits despite the drizzle as they danced around to You to Me Are Everything by The Real Thing.
Denise later uploaded the sweet clip alongside a caption that read: ‘Went to see my dad today. First time in 3 months.
‘It was lovely @welchvin #singingthewrongwords [red heart emojis].’
Together: Denise shared several heartwarming clips with her dad as they reunited after restrictions were lifted last year
Back in June Denise and Gloria Hunniford had a furious row over Covid-19 restrictions on Loose Women.
The actress, 63, criticised the ‘double standards’ of the UK government after being unable to travel in an ambulance with her elderly father.
After Denise blasted football fans for being able to gather in London, Gloria hit out: ‘Hang on just one second. Not anyone in the country doesn’t want lockdown to end and the double standards are very hard to understand.
‘However, with the Indian virus in 24 hours there were 11,000 people confirmed.’
But Denise hit back: ‘But there’s no escalation in deaths, Gloria. When do we move on? There have been flatline deaths since April.
‘A third of all councils across England and Wales haven’t suffered a fatality since April. Give people their jobs and livelihoods back.
‘We’ve got to move on from it. If vaccinations work, that’s what we’re doing. Not another month, another month.’
Furious: In June Denise furiously hit out at the UK government after she was stopped from travelling with her elderly father in an ambulance
Reflecting on her own struggle to be with her father on the previous weekend, she went on: ‘I’m not allowed, double jabbed, to travel in an ambulance while this is going on with my father.
‘We all saw the G7 photographs, the virtue-signalling people. It’s the double standards.
‘All of them there in masks at the beginning but immediately the cameras were off taking their masks off.’
Happier times: Vin is pictured enjoying dinner with Denise before he became unwell
Denise furiously hit out at the UK government after she was stopped from travelling with her elderly father in an ambulance, while football fans were allowed to line the streets.
The actress did not say what was wrong with her father but highlighted what she believes is hypocrisy from the government amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying it’s unfair certain freedoms have not returned as lockdown is eased, while revellers partied after England’s Euros 2020 match against Scotland on Friday.
Sharing a picture of a crowd of soccer fans on Instagram, Denise wrote: ‘Today, I wasn’t allowed to travel in an ambulance with my 84-year-old old frightened dad. Why??
‘There is no reason. I’ve tried to call out this hypocrisy for over a year. I came off Twitter as I was called a Covid denier. Nothing could be further from the truth.
‘But I knew this would happen. I saw the utter hypocrisy when the government allowed the clap for carers to become a weekly carnival with emergency services lining the streets with their sirens blaring.
‘Karaoke and wine parties, nurses gathering outside hugging. Bridges full of people clapping.
Together: Denise and her sister Debbie pose with their father Vin during a trip to the theatre
‘Meanwhile, two men were threatened with arrest as they tried to comfort their mother sat alone at her husbands funeral.’
The Loose Women star then accused ministers of being ‘in thrall’ to epidemiologist Neil Ferguson who resigned from his government position last year after repeatedly breaking lockdown guidelines to see his lover.
Denise continued: ‘Why has there been zero transparency? During Brexit (remember that?) there were nightly debates but with Covid.. nothing.
‘People’s voices silenced if they dared ask any questions. NHS workers (I’ve spent 10 weeks amongst them) not allowed to speak out about ANYTHING.
Happier times: Former Coronation Street cast member Denise shared a video of her father dancing in a blonde wig during the first lockdown last year as a Father’s Day tribute
‘The NHS is in a mess. It has been for years and we are told that WE have to save it. We don’t. They have to save us.
‘But the communication system within it is completely and utterly broken and that is the fault of the trust bosses. No one else. This has to stop. We need to be given our freedom back.
‘I’ve had my 2 vaccinations and I will make my own decisions about the risks I take. They have no right to continue to control us and let football rule the f…..g world.
‘I’m not a 5G, great reset believer. I believe it is total incompetence, fear, cover up and a desire not to lose these emergency powers they’ve been granted.
‘I no longer want my life controlled by communist Susan Michie.’
Living life: Denise has shared several sweet snaps of her father over the years including this one of him posing with two police men
MailOnline contacted a representative for Denise for comment at the time.
Former Coronation Street cast member Denise later shared a video of her father dancing in a blonde wig during the first lockdown last year.
In the video, her father could be seen paying tribute to singer Dolly Parton as he performed an entertaining dance.
Denise wrote: ‘Happy Fathers Day to the legend that is our dad, Vin Welch.
‘This wonderful tribute to Dolly Parton is how dad dealt with the first lockdown.
‘Sadly after a year of it his health started to deteriorate. But he is a fighter and we are so touched as a family with the support my posts about him have received.
‘Thinking of all those today who have dads that are poorly and those who have lost theirs.’
Loving family: On Father’s Day this year she shared this sweet snap with her parents to mark the occasion