Keighley-born actress Mollie Sugden has died in hospital after a long illness.

The star of popular sitcom Are You Being Served? died in the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. She was 86.

Her twin sons, Robin and Simon Moore, were at her bedside, according to her agent Joan Reddin.

Ms Reddin began representing Mollie Sugden in the 1960s before she became famous with her role as Mrs Slocombe in Are You Being Served?

She said: “I represented her for more than 30 years and I was a very close friend as well. She had had a long illness and various problems but it was very quick in the end.

“She was a lovely, lovely person and I never had any trouble with her. She was a great professional.”

Mollie, who lived in Surrey, was married to fellow actor William Moore. Born in July 1922, she attended school locally before going to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Her early career was spent in repertory theatre, where in Swansea in 1956, she met Mr Moore.

They married two years later, when she was 35 and he was 39. Their sons were born six years later.

In later life, re-runs of Are You Being Served? transformed both her and co-star John Inman into cult figures in the US in the early 1990s. Such was her popularity in America that at the age of 71 she was asked to appear in Donizetti’s opera La Fille Du Regiment in a non-singing role.