The star, 78, was a well-known face on TV in the 1970s and 80s and was famous for his partnership with Syd Little.
His family confirmed the news "with great sadness" on Facebook, saying he had been suffering with heart failure and contracted the virus in hospital.
Little said he was "devastated" by the news. "He had been ill for a while but when it happens, it hits you," he said.
"We were together 60 years," he told BBC Radio Lancashire. "It wasn't like having a partner. We were friends."
The comedian's family said they had been unable to visit him in hospital due to restrictions around the coronavirus, "but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day".
"We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he has achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them every week."
Reacting to the news, TV hosts Ant and Dec said the entertainer, who they recently worked with, "will be missed".
"He just loved making people laugh," they wrote.