ENTERTAINMENT

Doctor Who star and The Wombles narrator Bernard Cribbins dies

British actor Bernard Cribbins has died, aged 93.

He was best known for appearing in Doctor Who and also as narrator of ’70s children’s show The Wombles.

His agent confirmed the “beloved” actor’s passing in a statement on Thursday morning (Thursday evening AEST).

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British actor Bernard Cribbins OBE has died, aged 93 (Getty Images for Film Distributors’ Association)

“Beloved actor Bernard Cribbins OBE has passed away at the age of 93,” the statement began.

“His career spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like The Railway Children and the Carry On series, hit 60s song Right Said Fred, a notorious guest on Fawlty Towers and narrating The Wombles.

“He worked well into his 90s, recently appearing in Doctor Who and the CBeebies series Old Jack’s Boat.”

The statement described the star as “unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him”.

Bernard Cribbins well known comedy actor.  The latter casts Bernard Cribbins in a Walter Mitty role, investigating various aspects of brewing - including consumption of the stuff. November 1, 1972.
He was best known for appearing in Doctor Who twice and also as narrator of 70s children’s show The Wombles. (Fairfax Media)
Bernard Cribbins as Mr. Hutchinson and John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in a 1989 episode of Faulty Towers
Bernard Cribbins guest starred on sitcom Faulty Towers as Mr. Hutchinson alongside John Cleese as Basil Fawlty (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Some of those who worked alongside the star have been among the first to pay tribute, including former Doctor Who star David Tennant and showrunner Russell T Davies.

“Sad news that Bernard Cribbins has passed away,” Tennant said on Twitter.

“A legend has left the world,” Davies wrote in a lengthy Instagram tribute, referring to the actor as “an old soldier”.

Dr Who star and The Wombles narrator Bernard Cribbins dies
Some of those who worked alongside the star have been among the first to pay tribute, including former Doctor Who star David Tennant and showrunner Russell T Davies (BBC)

Recalling Cribbins’ first day on set, Davies says Aussie singer and actress Kylie Minogue was on-set but even then all eyes were on the actor.

“His first day was on location with Kylie Minogue, but all eyes, even Kylie’s, were on Bernard,” Davies wrote.

“He’d turned up with a suitcase full of props, just in case, including a rubber chicken. And what an actor. Oh, really though, what a wonderful actor.”

Doctor Who‘s social media also paid tribute to the series regular, who was rumoured to have been filming scenes recently for the upcoming 60th anniversary special alongside Tennant and Catherine Tate, who played his granddaughter in the series.

“We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Bernard Cribbins,” they began.

“Known best to Doctor Who fans as the Doctor’s friend and Donna’s grandad Wilfred Mott, Bernard leaves behind a long legacy in film and TV.”

While comedian Matt Lucas described Cribbins as “a lovely, funny, brilliantly talented man” in a Twitter tribute.

Cribbins began acting at the age of 14 and became a star of the stage in London for a decade before moving into TV and film work.

In 2011 he was awarded an OBE for his services to drama.

He lost his wife of 66 years, Gill, in October last year. They didn’t have any children.

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