(Image credit: Shutterstock/Rex)

63-year-old Cherie Blair has been faced with some devastating news over the past 24 hours, as the death of her beloved father, Tony Booth at the age of 85, has been announced.

The news was revealed by Tony's third wife Steph, who said, "It is with sadness we announce the death of Antony Booth, actor and political campaigner.

"Tony passed away late last night with close family members in attendance. The family ask for their privacy to be respected at this time."

Tony was well known for his roles in various TV series, including sitcom Till Death Do Us Part, which aired on the BBC for 10 year between 1965-1975. Tony also starred in numerous soaps, including Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

The 85-year old was also a staunch campaigner, having joined the Labour party at 15.

He had been dealing with Alzheimers disease for over 10 years, after being diagnosed in 2004, at the time of his death, and is also said to have suffered from heart problems too. However, it's not clear whether either of these were the eventual cause of his passing.

Tony Blair's father-in-law went on to marry three times after divorcing Cherie's wife when their daughter was just seven years old. His third wife was Pat Phoenix, who played Elise Tanner in Coronation Street. However, she sadly passed away just one week after the couple's wedding in 1986.

While it's said that Cherie was also close to her father, it was widely reported that Tony Booth didn't agree with some of the ways in which his son-in-law lead the country when he was elected to be Prime Minister in 1997.

In 1999, he claimed that Blair has stuffed the House of Lord with "Tony's cronies". He also criticised the party's decision at the time to "throw away billions" on the Iraq war, rather than spend the money on pensioners.

The sad news for Cherie comes just over a year after the heartbreaking death of her mother, Gale Booth, who died at the age of 83 after a long battle with Alzheimers in July 2016.

Reportedly, Gale spent her last years at a nursing home near Cherie and Tony's country home in Buckinghamshire.

It's said that ex-PM Tony Blair was very close to his late mother-in-law, and even relied on her for political advice from time to time.

He said, "My mother-in-law is my closest political adviser. She is the one person of absolute common sense."

Our thoughts are with the Booth/Blair family at this time.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on