Bernie Nolan, former lead singer of The Nolans and star of stage shows including Blood Brothers and Chicago, has died from breast cancer at the age of 52.

Nolan rose to fame alongside her sisters in the Irish girl group in the 1970s and 80s and went on to forge a successful acting career.

Bernie Nolan in Calendar Girls (2011)
Bernie Nolan in Calendar Girls (2011)
A spokesperson for the family said: "Bernie passed away peacefully this morning with all of her family around her. The entire family are devastated to have lost beloved Bernie, a wonderful wife, adoring mother and loving sister, she is irreplaceable."

The Nolans' hits included "I'm In The Mood For Dancing", "Don't Make Waves", "Attention To Me" and "Gotta Pull Myself Together". They supported Frank Sinatra on the European leg of his world tour in 1975.

Bernie Nolan's stage acting credits included Blood Brothers, Chicago and Flashdance. On television she was known for roles in The Bill, Brookside and was a finalist on ITV's Popstar to Opera Star.

Actor Joseph McGann, who appeared alongside Nolan in Calendar Girls in 2011, tweeted: "RIP Bernie Nolan - Fabulous voice, funny, generous pocket-amazon I was lucky to have known. Thoughts are with Erin and Steve."