BELOVED entertainer Darryn Saville, who was known to so many across the Five Valleys as Captain Spanner, believed above all else in love, life and laughter and had an unrivaled ability to make people smile.

Those were the words of his wife Nicky and son Ben, 13, after Mr Saville’s body was found in the River Frome at Ebley on Wednesday afternoon, October 6.

He had been missing since Friday, October 1, when CCTV images captured Mr Saville, 44, walking towards the river moments after leaving his home in Bridge Road.

"I adored him, totally adored him," said Nicky, 46, who performed alongside Captain Spanner as his bossy sidekick Nutty Nicky since the couple started their entertainment business more than a decade ago.

"I thank him so much for the many happy years we shared. He turned my life around and until I was with him I never felt truly alive."

The couple first met on a flight back from Ibiza 15 years ago after Nicky plucked up the courage to say hello.

"I saw he was alone and I knew that if I did not sit next to him I would regret it for the rest of my life," she added.

"He asked me what the best bit of my holiday was and I said – this is."

They wed just a year later in July 1996 at Stroud Register Office dressed in their trademark clown outfits with balloons instead of flowers.

Earlier that month they moved to their beautiful old stone cottage, where Nicky is now surrounded by her closest friends and family, including Mr Saville’s mother Josie and sister Andrea, who have traveled from Surrey to be with her.

She is also taking comfort from the recent birth of her first grandchild Amelia Violet by her eldest son Jamie’s wife Fay in Gloucester on Tuesday, October 5.

"I can still feel him near me, he will never go away," she said.

"The last year had been a struggle for him but I was so proud of how brave he had been."

Nicky added that her and Ben wanted to tell all the children who met Captain Spanner that he had not forgotten the fun times they had together.

"He is still smiling down on us, bouncing from cloud to cloud and twinkling among the stars," she said.

"We hope you give them a wave when you see them."

Mr Saville’s funeral is expected to be held later this month.

A police spokesman said his death is not being treated as suspicious.

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