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Miranda Hart shares her grief after losing best friend to cancer

Gemma Strong

Miranda Hart has paid tribute to her best friend Joanna Dugdale, who passed away last year following a short battle with cancer. Joanna was 42 when she died, just three weeks after her initial diagnosis. Now Miranda has opened up about her loss, and shared her decision to dedicate her new book, Miranda's Daily Dose of Such Fun, to Joanna's memory. "I met Joanna at drama school 20 years ago and she was one of my dearest friends," the comedian told the Daily Mail.

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Miranda Hart has opened up about the death of her best friend Joanna Dugdale last year

"To lose her last year was a huge shock. I dedicated my Comic Relief book to her as she loved the idea of it – she had a determined, positive outlook on life – and gave me a couple of ideas for it. I am sure she is laughing with me as I do the daily entries from the book!"

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Joanna and Miranda first met as students at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London, and went on to become firm friends. Joanna had been in remission from breast cancer when she spent her last weekend with Miranda. Upon her return to London, she was told the cancer had returned and spread to her bones. Miranda was unable to attend the funeral, but she wrote a eulogy to be read out on her behalf - something Joanna's stepfather Howard recalled to the newspaper. He said: "At the funeral, Miranda had a very funny eulogy about Joanna taking the [mickey] out of her and calling her a party pooper because they were both sitting in their pyjamas and dressing gowns instead of being out clubbing. Joanna was saying, 'If it was up to me, we'd be out clubbing!' It was a very funny remembrance of their last weekend together."

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