Theresa May has been joined by leading scientists and figures from the entertainment industry in paying tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking who died this morning.

The Prime Minister said in a tweet that Professor Hawking was “one of the greatest scientists of his generation” and “his legacy will not be forgotten”.

Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal as the physicist in The Theory Of Everything, said in a statement: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

“My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted that Professor Hawking, who was 76, “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe”.

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