Scott Thomas has made an emotional tribute to his late father Dougie James after his death at the age of 72.
The former Love-Islander, 32, broke his silence by sharing a series of touching family snaps to Instagram on Sunday evening.
Alongside the personal images, Scott penned a lengthy statement calling his 70s music legend dad, who was the lead singer of Dougie James And The Soul Train, ‘the epitome of a star’ and adding that he is ‘so proud’ of his parent.
‘So proud’: Scott Thomas, 32, has made an emotional tribute to his late father Dougie James after his death at the age of 72, calling the Manchester legend ‘the epitome of a star’
Scott said: ‘The word legend can sometimes be thrown around but when it comes to my Dad there was no question. He was the epitome of a star and you felt it every moment you were in his company.
‘My Dad’s life was one that he lived to the fullest and his stories would keep us entertained for hours. From touring with the Jackson 5 to warming up for James Brown my dad had done it all with the Soul Train.
‘People might think my Dad is well known because of us but he was a Manchester legend well before our time. I used to be so proud when strangers from all over would come up to me and say are you “Dougie James’ son?”
‘He knew everyone and touched so many lives. My dad just knew how to make people smile and he was genuinely the funniest man I’ve ever known.’
Sad news: It was revealed on Saturday that the soul singer had passed away, with BBC Radio Manchester reporting it (pictured during his time in his band Dougie James and The Soul Train)
Scott went on to reveal that he had spent his father’s final six months living with him during the national lockdown.
‘I can’t believe how truly lucky I was to have him living with me these last 6 months. We’ve made up for so much lost time and shared so many little special memories.
‘I would just watch him from across the room watching his old black and white movies and just be in awe of him. From dancing around the kitchen to deep chats I just can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have had that time,’ he said.
The reality star also shared a few details about how his father was feeling and said Dougie always managed to stay positive and tell jokes.
Family: Scott said that Dougie’s legacy would live on through ‘many, many years of Thomas’s’ in the heartfelt caption to a series of personal images shared in tribute (the singer is pictured with his three sons – Ryan, Adam and Scott – as well as four grandchildren)
Time together: The former Love Islander also said he was ‘so lucky’ to have had his dad ‘living with me these last 6 months. We’ve made up for so much lost time and shared so many little special memories’
Scott said: ‘My dad told me he had the best life and wouldn’t change a single thing. This might sound sad but he said he was happy for his time to be up and just didn’t enjoy being old.
‘So as heartbreaking as it is that he’s gone I know it’s what he wanted deep down. He was just very tired. Saying that, even that morning when I last saw him he was on top form as always cracking jokes with that amazing sick sense of humour of his. He always chose laughter for tears.
He finished the statement, saying: ‘My Dad will live on through me, Adam and Ryan. The legacy he has created will shine on through us and the Thomas’s for many, many years to come.
‘He made me so proud to be a Thomas and even though he never really told us I know deep down he was so very proud of us.
Scott said: ‘My dad told me he had the best life and wouldn’t change a single thing’
Making memories: The proud son got to soak up time with his dad during lockdown and shared several clips of Dougie dancing in the kitchen and watching black and white films to Instagram
‘One thing he never struggled to tell me was that he loved me. Every night before bed he would tell me that and every time I left the house.
‘I am my Father’s son and I will remember nothing but the best of memories. He really was a King. Rest in Paradise dad, Iove you forever.’
It was reported on Saturday morning that the 70s music legend Dougie, who was the lead singer of Dougie James And The Soul Train, had died.
BBC Manchester’s Mike Shaft remembered Dougie and 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.
Tribute: Scott finished his touching statement by saying that Dougie ‘really was a king’
‘Wonderful guy, always a smile on his face. Always a happy story. Very sad news.’
Dougie’s cause of death is currently unconfirmed.
Dougie is father to actor Ryan, 36, and twin sons, former Emmerdale actor Adam and ex-Love Island contestant, Scott, both 32.
At the height of their fame, Dougie’s band toured with The Jackson Five and his sons have inherited his love of the spotlight. ‘It’s always been in our blood – we’ve always wanted to entertain,’ Adam said earlier this year.
Family: It was reported on Saturday morning that the 70s music legend Dougie, who was the lead singer of Dougie James And The Soul Train, has died (pictured in 2019)
Last year the boys headed to India with their father for an ITV documentary, Mancs In Mumbai, where they explored their heritage for a six-part series.
Dougie split from the boys’ mum when the twins were born – leading to a bitter divorce, and the family explored their feelings about his absence during the programme.
Following the news of his passing, tributes flooded in for Dougie, as many of his friends and fans remembered him on social media on Saturday morning.
Dougie’s brother Barry, wrote on his Facebook page: ‘Thanks to Ryan, Scott and Adam for letting me know the legend that was my brother Dougie James has passed away thanks for the laughs the musical education bro, see you on the other side.’
All together: Dougie pictured with his family on Father’s day in 2017
Unknown: Dougie’s cause of death is currently unconfirmed (pictured in 2014 at son Ryan’s 30th birthday)
Dougie’s brother Barry, wrote on his Facebook page: ‘Thanks to Ryan, Scott and Adam for letting me know the legend that was my brother Dougie James has passed away thanks for the laughs the musical education bro, see you on the other side’
Family: Dougie is father to actor Ryan, 36, and twin sons, former Emmerdale actor Adam and ex-Love Island contestant, Scott, both 32
A fan on Twitter, wrote: Aw I just heard that Dougie James of Dougie James’ soul train has died. I remember him appearing at Fagins nightclub when I worked there, many times. Loved his version of ‘Hey Joe’, RIP.
Another person shared a snap of the boys and their father, and said: ‘Really sad news today the legend that is Dougie James has passed away, one of England’s greatest singer entertainers.
‘We had some great times with Alex ‘hurricane higgins’ and bought so much pleasure to so many people, he will be greatly missed. RIP DOUGIE.’
Sad news hearing the news that Manchester’s Dougie James, father of @ryanjamesthomas has passed away. Very sad news. Dougie and my uncle were great great friends. Met him at the funeral and then memorial party a month later. RIP.’
Family bond: Pictured (L-R) Adam, Dougie, Ryan, Scott, Ryan’s daughter Scarlett and Adam’s son Teddy in 2017
Condolences: Following the news of his passing, tributes flooded in for Dougie, as many of his friends and fans remembered him on social media on Saturday morning
Many fans also sent sent their condolences to Dougie’s sons, one of whom wrote: ‘Heart goes out to @adamthomas21 @scottyspecial @ryanjamesthomas so sorry for ur loss.’
While another person said: ‘@ryanjamesthomas mate I’m so sorry to hear this sad sad news. Sending you and yours our sincere condolences! Our love and thoughts are with you right now. RIP DJ x.’
Another wrote: ‘Thinking of you @ryanjamesthomas.’
A fourth said: ‘Condolences on the passing of your father.’
Heartfelt: Many fans also sent sent their condolences to Dougie’s sons, one of whom wrote: ‘Heart goes out to @adamthomas21 @scottyspecial @ryanjamesthomas so sorry for ur loss’
Adam, Ryan and Scott Thomas confronted their once absent father Dougie during the documentary which aired earlier this year.
Following their parent’s divorce, Adam told Star TV magazine how his father was not always around in the brothers’ youth, saying the Mumbai trip became ‘quite emotional’ for them.
Adam 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.
Family: (L-R) Adam, Ryan and Scott Thomas confronted their once absent father Dougie during the documentary which aired earlier this year
‘There were a lot of unanswered questions, which we touched on and I think we needed to. It got quite emotional.’
The month-long journey saw the Thomas brothers retrace the footsteps of their grandfather Nolan, who immigrated to the UK from India in 1947.
Former Coronation Street star Ryan added: ‘He always referred to his dad as his hero. And the moment it hit him was when he went to where our granddad went to school. I said, ‘Dad, this is the exact same playground that your dad played in when he was a child.’
Scott, who is Adam’s non-identical twin, said the trip put things into perspective for the brothers and their father, adding that it has brought them closer together.
The brothers visited the Dharavi slum which is the most populated place on earth with 700,000 people living in just 0.8 square miles.
The boys’ childhood was complicated by their parents’ acrimonious split shortly after the twins were born, with Dougie and their mother Gail not in contact for years.
It came after Adam and Scott told how Dougie disappeared from their lives for six years during their childhood.
Speaking to Weekend magazine, Scott said: ‘We didn’t see him in all that time, then when Ryan turned 16 he came back into our lives.
‘It was a hard time for us, which is something we had to deal with on this trip.’
Adam added: ‘There were a lot of unanswered questions that we’d never talked about and this trip was the right time to do it.
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 their children, Adam’s children Teddy and Elsie-Rosie, as well as Ryan’s children Scarlett, who he shares with ex Tina O’Brien, and Roman who he shares with fiancée Lucy Mecklenburgh.
On screen: It came after Adam and Scott told how Dougie disappeared from their lives for six years during their childhood