Following Dale Meeks’ passing at the age of 48, television presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly led tributes to their co-star from Byker Grove.

After appearing in the BBC drama Byker Grove as the leader of Denton Burn, a rival youth organization to the Byker Grove youth club, the actor played Simon Meredith in the ITV serial opera Emmerdale from 2003 to 2006.

Meeks passed away from “heart failure” on Saturday night at Newcastle’s South Tyneside Hospital, according to his brother Philip Meeks.

Philip, 55, said his brother was due to turn 49 on the day of the King’s coronation, adding: “My heart is broken.”

McPartlin and Donnelly, who played PJ and Duncan in Byker Grove, led tributes on Sunday.

“We are so incredibly sorry to hear the very sad news of Dale’s passing,” they said in a statement on Twitter.

“He was the loveliest of guys, even though he was a Denton ‘Burner’, the arch nemesis of the Byker ‘Grovers’!

“A sad loss at such a young age. RIP Dale. Sleep well bonny lad.”

Responding to the tweet, Philip told PA: “That’s absolutely lovely.

“I sort of remember meeting them as kids myself. He (Dale) was in Byker Grove, he made one of them blind, not in real life.”

Meeks last appeared in a cameo role on ITV’s The Hunt For Raoul Moat.