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6/05/2011 04:03:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Donald HewlettDONALD HEWLETT 1922-2011

The actor Donald Hewlett has died at the age of 88.

Hewlett appeared in the 1971 story, The Claws of Axos where he played Sir George Hardiman, the head of the Nuton Power Complex. He was best known for his role in the 1970s BBC sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum where he played Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Reynolds. He died at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in west London on Saturday,and is survived by his wife, Therese, and daughter Siobhan.

Newslinks: BBC News

Bill HunterBILL HUNTER 1940-2011

The actor Bill Hunter has died at the age of 71.

Hunter was one of the best known Australian actors, appearing in over 60 films and winning won two Australian Film Institute Awards. His movie roles included Newsfront, Gallipoli, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Australia. He provided the voice of the dentist in the Pixar animated film Finding Nemo. In 2007, he reprised the role of Bob in the Australian touring stage production of Priscilla.

After training as an actor in Melbourne he won a two-year scholarship to the Northampton Repertory Company in England. It was while in England that he made his television debut in an uncredited role in two episodes of The Ark, alongside First Doctor William Hartnell.


The agent Roger Hancock has died at the age of 79.

Hancock was for many years the agent of writer Terry Nation, one of Doctor Who's first script writers and creator of the Daleks.

Hancock met Nation through his brother, the comedian Tony Hancock who commissioned Nation to write material for his ATV television series and later for his stage show. Roger Hancock was Tony's agent at the time, having taken over from the comedian's long-term agent Beryl Vertue, now the mother-in-law of current showrunner Steven Moffat, whom he replaced in 1961 when Hancock also split with writers Alan Galton and Ray Simpson.

Roger Hancock was tenacious in defending the intellectual property rights of his clients. He was involved in many protracted negotiations with the BBC and others over their use of the Daleks, refusing any use which was thought inappropriate. In July 2004 it was reported that talks between the BBC and Hancock, representing the estate of Terry Nation, had broken down over issues of editorial control and as a result the Daleks would not appear in the relaunched series. An agreement was later reached which saw the return of the iconic monsters to the series.

Newslinks: Telegraph

YOLANDE PALFREY (1957 – 2011)

Born on 29th March 1957, Yolande Palfrey's career spanned the 1970/80s, during which she appeared in a number of serials; her first major performance was as the blind girl raped and murdered in the controversial serial by Dennis Potter, Pennies from Heaven. She also appeared as Sassy in the ITV drama Love in a Cold Climate, and Lady Sophia in Nanny.

Her sci-fi credentials include playing Veron in Gan's swansong episode of Blake's 7, Pressure Point, and also a part in the Disney film Dragonslayer. However, for Doctor Who fans she'll be best remembered for her appearance as stewardess Janet in Season 23's The Trial of a Time Lord (9-12) (aka Terror of the Vervoids, one of the few survivors of the Vervoid incident on board the starliner Hyperion III.

Yolande Palfrey died on 9th April, having suffered from a brain tumour.


John Mason had a prolific career in the Lighting department at the BBC, a position that saw him working on a variety of shows and drama, including The Two Ronnies, The Young Ones, Sense and Sensibility, Beau Geste, By The Sword Divided and Century Falls.

He worked on two Doctor Who serials in his early career, coincidentally seeing out two producers: Robot saw Tom Baker take up the reins of the Doctor as Barry Letts departed; later, The Talons of Weng-Chiang concluded Philip Hinchcliffe's tenure on the show.

Mason won two BAFTA awards for Best Video Lighting; in 1985 for his work on The Box of Delights, and in 1989 for The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe; he was nominated in consecutive years for followups Prince Caspian/The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair.

John Mason died from a heart attack on 26th March.

Newslinks: Eltham College