Tributes have been paid to the Belfast-born actor Jimmy Ellis, who has died in England at the age of 82.

Mr Ellis was best known for playing Bert Lynch in the long-running BBC police drama Z Cars, which was screened during the 1960s and 70s. 

He also starred in other television series including Dr Who, Ballykissangel and Only Fools and Horses. His funeral is to take place in his native town.

Actor Kenneth Branagh was amongst those to pay tribute to Mr Ellis, describing him as a “great inspiration”.

Mr Branagh performed alongside Mr Ellis in BBC Northern Ireland's series of "Billy" plays in the early 1980s.

"I was blessed to begin my career working with him, and I will never forget his generosity to me. He was a highly intelligent, funny, and kind man, and a tremendous actor," he said.