Noel Gallagher has paid a moving tribute to his friend Caroline Aherne dedicating his hit Half the World Away to her while on tour.

“Performing with his band High Flying Bands, Noel told a capacity 2,400 crowd at Nashville’s famous Ryman Auditorium:”I want to dedicate the next song to a friend of mine who died this afternoon.

“She used this next song on a very very very very brilliant sit com in England called The Royle Family.”

“A lot of Brits had travelled from across the States to see Noel and they all knew what Caroline meant to him.”

Aherne had spoken of her diagnosis while addressing an appeal to approve cancer care in Manchester in 2014, saying: “I’ve had cancer and my brother’s had cancer and we know how it affects people.”

Caroline and Noel were often pictured out partying together.

Questioned about the personal battles she may have faced, he explained: “This is really one of the great tragedies of my professional life that I have watched happen, is that when we started working, Caroline was an innocent, happy young woman with an immense talent.”

“By the end of two seasons she was a celebrity and it was only too obvious that she found it very, very difficult to deal with being a celebrity.”

Caroline became a national treasure in the 1990s when she played the mischievous, twinkly-eyed, blue-rinse chat show host Mrs Merton.

Caroline Aherne