Soul star Dougie James, the father of Ryan, Scott and Adam Thomas, has died aged 72.
The singer’s death was reported by BBC Manchester, with reporter Mike Shaft remembering his time as the lead singer of Dougie James and the Soul Train.
He said: ‘He 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.’
Dougie’s brother Barry confirmed the news on Facebook, writing: ‘Thanks to Ryan Scott and Adam for letting me know the legend that was my brother Dougie Jams has passed away thanks for the laughs the musical education Bro see you on the other side.’
Dougie James and the Soul Train were big on the UK scene in the 60s and 70s, and once supported The Jackson Five.
James is the father of the Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas, Emmerdale star Adam and Love Island star Scott, and appeared on the ITV series Absolutely India: Mancs In Mumbai earlier this year.
On the show, the Thomas brothers travelled to India with their dad to explore their Indian roots, and opened up on their fractured relationship with James.
The singer split from the boys’ mum Gail Waring shortly after twins Scott and Adam were born and they lost contact for many years.
Ryan, 36, previously explained that the first time they were all reunited was on his 21st birthday, with his father and mother staying on separate sides of the room.
On Mancs In Mumbai, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Our Of Here! star Adam, 32, said: ‘My dad left us for years when we were younger and then he came back into our lives and we never really talked about it.
‘There were a lot of unanswered questions, which we touched on and I think we needed to. It got quite emotional.’
He called the opportunity to go on the trip with their father ‘special’, while Scott, also 32, added: ‘It was unbelievable – we’ll never get that again. Even just three sons, as adults, spending time with their dad, is rare.
‘Also my dad is 72 now, but he’s quite an old 72, he’s lived his life, so in a way we all saw this as our last little journey with our dad, which is quite sad, but it was so special.’
Back in May, Adam shared on Instagram: ‘Getting to watch #mancsinmumbai and reflecting on the time we had together out there, was nothing short of special !! My dad may not have been there all my life, but he’s here now, for me and my brothers that’s all that matters… not every father is perfect and mine certainly isn’t, but he’s my dad. You only get one…and am glad it’s you dad.’
James is survived by his sons and his grandchildren, Adam’s kids Teddy and Elsie-Rose, and Ryan’s children Scarlett, who he shares with ex Tina O’Brien, and Roman, who he shares with girlfriend Lucy Mecklenburgh.