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."