THE funeral service of Patricia Pennington, the mum of Johnny Vegas, takes place this morning (Friday).

Pat, who had also become known as ‘Ma Vegas’, passed away on Sunday, November 17 aged 78 at home.

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She 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 earlier this year, alongside former Saints player Paul Sculthorpe.

St Helens Star:

Patricia opening M&S

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 poured in following the news of Pat’s passing.

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

An obituary to Patricia, featured in the Star read: "Passed away peacefully at her home on November 17, 2019 aged 78 years. "Patricia, loving wife to Laurence (deceased), devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother was much loved and will be sadly missed by all of her family and dear friends".

St Helens Star:

Pat Pennington

A funeral service to celebrate Patricia's life takes place at Our Lady Help of Christians Roman Catholic Church on Portico Lane, Portico from 10am today.

This will be followed by committal at St Helens Crematorium.

The funeral is family flowers only and donations, if desired, can be made to Willowbrook Hospice, a charity dear to Patricia's heart.

They may be sent c/o the funeral directors with all enquiries to Frank Dooley & Son Funeral Directors on Nutgrove Lodge. Call 01744811811 or see