Ryan Thomas‘ dad Dougie, who featured on the reality series Mancs In Mumbai with the former soap actor and his brothers, has reportedly died.
The soul singer is reported to have passed away at the age of 72.
Mike Shaft, of BBC Radio Manchester, recalled Dougie’s soul days as he paid tribute today (Saturday, November 28).
Tributes to ‘wonderful’ Dougie James
He wrote: “[Dougie] played all over the North West, in those days when they were playing places like Golden Garter they’d have bands on, an American band and then Dougie James.
“Wonderful guy, always a smile on his face. Always a happy story. Very sad news.”
A cause of death is yet to be confirmed.
Dougie was a singer in the group Dougie James And The Soul Train, which famously toured with The Jackson 5.
When he starred in ITV series Mancs In Mumbai earlier this year, his sons confronted him for abandoning them when they were children.
Ryan and his younger brothers Adam and Scott lived with their mother after their dad walked out when they were younger.
As a result, Ryan became a kind of father figure to his siblings in his dad’s absence.
During one family therapy scene, Ryan confronted Dougie about what happened when they were younger and burst into tears.
Wonderful guy, always a smile on his face. Always a happy story.
Elsewhere in the series, Dougie showed off his singing skills and Ryan got emotional.
During the second episode, the lads got to meet their cousin, Keshia.
At the end, they met up with her at a nightclub and learned that entertaining runs in the family.
Dougie Thomas starred in ITV’s Mancs In Mumbai with Ryan, Adam and Scott
Keshia sang on stage and after introducing the brothers to the audience, she convinced Dougie to come up.
He sang Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine and the siblings laughed, cheering him on.
But Ryan grew emotional watching Dougie on stage and wiped away tears.
He explained afterwards that it was because the tune brought back painful memories.
Ryan said during the episode: “It always has been emotional, listening to my dad sing.
“When I was growing up, my dad had this tape and he used to listen to it every night before bed. And it was something I was holding on to, when he left.
“The song he was singing tonight on the stage was the same song. That was my memory, when he wasn’t there. It gets you.”
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