TRIBUTES have poured in after Johnny Vegas announced the passing of his mum on social media on Tuesday.

Patricia Pennington, also known as ‘Ma Vegas’, died at the weekend aged 78, the comedian confirmed on social media.

Ma Vegas became a St Helens treasure and in April gained fans across the country as she featured alongside Johnny on a spin-off of TV show Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Audiences fell in love with Ma Vegas when she featured on All Round to Mrs Brown’s alongside son Johnny and sports presenter Clare Balding.

Pat also cut the ribbon to launch the Marks & Spencer store at Ravenhead Retail Park, alongside former Saints player Paul Sculthorpe.

St Helens Star:

Patricia opening the M&S shop

In an emotional post on Twitter Thatto Heath comedian Johnny, real name Michael Pennington, announced the sad news of his mum’s passing.

Johnny said: “With a kind of deep regret that I’m still incapable of processing, I have to confirm that Ma Vegas, Patricia, passed away last Sunday, peacefully in her sleep.

“To say she was a bit of a character would be too huge an underestimation. As a Mum I dare to argue I had the best x”.

Tributes have poured in online and on social media following the news of Pat’s passing.

Thatto Heath councillor Richard McCauley said: "So sorry to hear of your loss Mike, thinking of you. your mum was a proper Thatto Heath character. A sad day for the whole community".

Timothy Haines, of St Helens Baptist Church wrote: "I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will always remember that afternoon of shared wedding cake and bubbly across the pub with you and your mum. God Bless, rest in peace and rise in glory".

Willowbrook Hospice said: "We all thought so much of Ma Vegas here at Willowbrook Fundraising Office. She always attended our tea parties and was a real character. Our thoughts are with you and the rest of your family #oneinamillion".


And the Steve Prescott Foundation wrote: "Our brother @JohnnyVegasReal our thoughts and prayers are with you all x Patricia will always be remembered and her name will always make us laugh smile for eternity! Take care pal, we are always here for you like you are for us xxx RIP @MaVegas2 #TellinsTreasure x".


Meanwhile, Lynn Stemmer said: "Lovely lady always had a smile on her face even when she was poorly it was a pleasure to have looked after her a few occasions goodnight God bless xx"

Viv Lavery added: "Fridays in Blush will be a sadder place, no little pocket rocket coming in and taking centre stage, making us all howl with laughter! She made friends everywhere she went! I loved her Joi de vivre, I’m gutted!"

And Valerie Fagan wrote: "I'm so very sorry to hear your sad news about your mum Johnny she was a real funny woman and us in home bargains in the hardshaw centre will miss her visits. R.I.P Pat go fly high with the angels xx"

Johnny also posted a picture of his smiling mum holding a dog in her arms, along with a picture of a letter which she had previously sent to him.

St Helens Star:

A letter to Michael (Johnny) from his mum and dad

The letter read: “Dear Michael, lots of love and kisses mum. Look after yourself and if you get short of money please come back home. God bless. Mum and Dad.”

Johnny’s dad Laurence died in March 2017 aged 85.

Patricia leaves behind children Catharine, Robert, Mark and Michael (Johnny).