American reality TV personality Beth Chapman, wife of US star Dog The Bounty Hunter, has died aged 51.

Her husband confirmed the news by tweeting that she had “hiked the stairway to heaven”.

Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017 after visiting the doctor about a persistent cough.

She was declared cancer-free after having a tumour removed but was later diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

On Friday last week she was admitted to hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, after struggling to breathe before fainting.

She was placed in a coma so she could be treated without pain.

In a message posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Duane Chapman said: “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain.

“Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”

And on Tuesday he asked for well-wishers to pray for her, posting an image of her hand as she lay in a hospital bed.

Grammy award-winning country music singer Crystal Gayle paid tribute to her friend on Twitter.

She said: “Lost a friend today. Sending lots of love and prayers to @DogBountyHunter, the children and family. We will miss you, Beth @MrsdogC”

WGN America, the network due to air Chapman’s new reality show titled Dog’s Most Wanted, said in a statement that she had been an “exceptional woman”.

A message on its Twitter account said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that @MrsdogC lost her battle with cancer today.

“She was an exceptional woman, all of us at #WGNAmerica will miss her tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with @DogBountyHunter, her family, loved ones and millions of fans.”

Dog The Bounty Hunter aired on US TV network A&E from 2004 until 2012 when it was cancelled.

It followed the Chapmans as they travelled the states of Colorado and Hawaii working as bounty hunters.

The Chapmans, who live in Honolulu, later starred in other similar reality shows, including Country Music Television’s Dog & Beth: On The Hunt.