The comedian and TV presenter Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81, a week after taking ill during a hospital procedure.

The co-star of TV show Fashion Police had been on a life support machine at the Mount Sinai hospital in New York last week. She had suffered a cardiac arrest, having stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal chords at a clinic in the city a week ago.

Her death was announced in a statement issued by her daughter Melissa. She was surrounded by her family at her bedside.

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In a statement, she said: "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.

"She passed peacefully at 1.17pm surrounded by family and close friends.

"My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.

Mrs Rivers added that she and her son, Cooper, had been 'humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.

"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh," Mrs Rivers said in a statement. "Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

One of the first to pay tribute was tycoon Donald Trump, who tweeted: "Joan Rivers was an amazing woman and a great friend. Her energy and talent were boundless. She will be greatly missed."

Lord Sugar ‏, the star of the BBC's Apprentice, said the death was "very sad news" and described her as a "great character."

There had been earlier hopes she would make a recovery after she had been moved out of intensive care and into a private room. But she had been on life support for almost a week and there had been no information regarding her current medical condition and prognosis.

The actress and stand-up comedian is well known for her acerbic with. Rivers who co-hosted Fashion Police, which was shown by the E! entertainment channel, poked fun at the clothes worn by celebrities on the programme.