Joan Rivers has passed away aged 81

Comedienne Joan Rivers has passed away.

Her daughter Melissa confirmed the news in a statement this evening, which read, “She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends.

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Joan was reportedly moved out of intensive care earlier today.

The star was rushed to hospital last week after complications occurred during a routine surgery.

Rest in peace, Joan.