Mark Wright leads tributes to Nanny Pat: 'My heart is broken'

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Mark Wright, Jessica Wright and the stars of TOWIE have been paying tribute to their much-loved Nanny Pat, who has passed away at the age of 80. The popular grandmother, whose real name was Patricia Brooker, died of a short illness, her family confirmed in a statement.

"My heart is broken but so overwhelmed by your support," wrote Nanny Pat's grandson Mark on Twitter. "To know good ole Nanny was loved by so many is the best feeling in the world. Thank you."

His sister Jessica echoed her shock and sadness, writing: "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 an angel."

Mark Wright led the tributes to his grandmother Nanny Pat

Several TOWIE cast members from past and present also took to Twitter to pay tribute to the reality TV star.

"Heart broken RIP our darling Nanny Pat thinking about @nannypat_carol and all the Wrights #RIPNannyPat," wrote Frankie Essex, who is the older sister of Joey.

Nanny Pat passed away at the age of 80 after a short illness

"Thoughts are with the Wright family... Nanny Pat was a lovely funny woman and it was an honour to know her xxx," wrote Mario Falcone, who was best known on the show for his engagement to Lucy Mecklenburgh.

Dan Osborne, who left TOWIE this year, shared a topless photo with the show's favourite and captioned it: "RIP nanny Pat.. Such a lovely lady, always had a smile on your face! Thinking about all of the Wright family."

Lauren Pope added she was "devastated" to hear of the loss of "beautiful" Nanny Pat, while Ricky Rayment, who was in a long-term relationship with Nanny Pat's granddaughter Jessica, said she was a "truly incredible lady".

Ricky Rayment, who dated Nanny Pat's granddaughter Jessica Wright, sent his condolences

Denise van Outen, who narrates the popular ITVBe show, tweeted: "[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."

The news will have come as a shock to the Wrights as the family have been enjoying a winter escape in New York. Jessica shared several photos from the holiday on Instagram, writing that she had an "amazing time" on Tuesday evening, just hours before her grandmother's death.

Denise van Outen, who narrates the show, said Nanny Pat would be missed

"Sadly our amazing, courageous and beautiful Nanny Pat passed away this morning after a short illness," the family wrote in a statement. "We are overwhelmed by sadness, and the whole family ask for privacy at this horrible time."

Last month Nanny Pat celebrated her 80th birthday on the show, with a royal wedding-themed party in Surrey.

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