Nesbitt star Tony Roper is recovering from prostate cancer surgery.

It's believed he was operated on at the Southern General Hospital in Govan two days ago.

A source close to the actor said: "It seems Tony is recovering well, although it wasn't a straightforward case of treating the prostate cancer.

"There was a tumour to deal with at the same time.

"However, he came through the operation well and is getting his strength back."

Tony, who worked as a miner before going to drama college when he was 26, is one of the country's most popular comedy actors.

His first major starring role was in Scotch and Wry but he went on to play the part of the amoral Jamesie Cotter in Rab C Nesbitt for the past 20 years.

Alongside Barbara Rafferty as Ella, the ever-warring pair made up one of the most popular sitcom duos to appear on screen.

Tony's talents however aren't confined to acting.

In 1988 he wrote the cult stage show The Steamie, which has since been produced many times.

And in 2008 he wrote and directed the hit play, The Celts in Seville, which is due to return to Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre.

The actor, who lives in the East End, is now 71.

His friend added: "Tony has always looked fantastic for his age.

"And he has looked after himself.

"Hopefully his overall good health will have a positive impact on his recovery. But he seems to be doing well."

If positive thinking plays a part in recovery, Tony should be fit and well and ready to film the upcoming Rab C Nesbitt special in the autumn.

In a recent interview the actor said: "I still think I'm 24.

"I walk past shop windows and when I catch sight of this wee, dumpy, grey-haired guy I'm a bit shocked to realise it's actually me.

"In my head I think I'm six foot two with black curly hair."

brian.beacom@ eveningtimes.co.uk