Diana Rigg 1938 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 10 September 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Diana Rigg

The actress Dame Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82

During her long career, Diana Rigg had starring roles in The Avengers and Game of Thrones as well as appearing in the James Bond franchise. 

She played Mrs Gillyflower in the 2013 story The Crimson Horror alongside Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith.and her daughter Rachael Stirling. The episode had been specially written for her by Mark Gatiss who paid tribute to the actress.  

It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg. From three slightly hysterical months at the Old Vic in ‘All About Mother’ to writing The Crimson Horror for Diana and her wonderful daughter Rachael. Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another. RIP

Diana Rigg was born in Doncaster, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire. She grew up in India where her father worked on the Railways before returning to England for her education. She studied at the Royal Acadamy of Dramatic Art alongside the likes of  Glenda Jackson and Siân Phillips.

Her first roles were on stage and for eight years she was a member of the  Royal Shakespeare Company.

After small roles on Television, her big break came when she joined the 1960's adventure series The Avengers playing Emma Peel. She was not the first choice for the role replacing Elizabeth Shepherd after two episodes, but she made the role her own and stayed for 51 episodes. A dispute with the producers over pay equality with Patrick Macnee, the male star of the show, meant she left the series after two years. 

Big Screen stardom came in 1969 playing Mrs James Bond opposite George Lazenby in the On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Many memorable TV appearances followed including playing Regan in a Granada Television production of King Lear opposite Laurence Olivier and playing Lady Dedlock in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House

In 1989 she played Helena Vesey in Mother Love for the BBC as role which gained her the 1990 BAFTA award for Best Television Actress.

In 2013 she joined Game of Thrones portraying Lady Olenna Tyrell, a witty and sarcastic political mastermind popularly known as the Queen of Thorns. Her performance earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. 

She appeares in the new series of All Creatures Great and Small, currently being shown on Channel Five. Last year she  appeared on Broadway in the Musical My Fair Lady, earning her fourth Tony nomination. 

Diana Rigg Rigg died earler today at her home in London after a short illness. 





Pip Baker 1928 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Pip BakerThe classic series writer Pip Baker has died at the age of 91.

Pip Baker, along with his wife and writing partner Jane, was one of the best-known writers from the mid 80's era of Doctor Who, writing eleven episodes for the series. Together they created the Rani, a female Time Lord scientist who was brought to life so vividly by the late Kate O'Mara, as well a creating the companion Mel.

Pip and Jane Baker began writing together in the 1960s working on the films The Painted Smile, The Break, The Night of the Big Heat and Captain Nemo and the Underwater City. On Television, they worked on the children's thriller Circus as well as episodes of Z-Cars and Space 1999.

In 1985 they were commissioned by producer John Nathan Turner to write for the first full series of the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, producing the story Mark of the Rani. The story was well received and the couple returned the following year to pen Terror of the Vervoids The third segment of the Trial of a Time Lord Season, envisaged as a whodunnit in space.

Later that year the couple were called in following the departure of the then Script editor Eric Saward, who left following a disagreement with Nathan Turner. Saward had withdrawn his script for the final episode of the season leaving the Bakers to come up with an alternative ending, without access to anything already written, and without creating anything which needed a new set to be built. They had just three days to come up with a script capable of concluding a season they had very little part in conceiving.

In 1988 Pip Baker told Doctor Who Magazine about some of the problems they encountered.
We went over to Eric’s empty office and talked it through – whether we could do it justice – not just because of the time period, as we had experience of that kind of speed on American series – but because we were being asked to wrap up thirteen episodes. If people have watched it that long, there’s an expectation that has to be satisfied – this has got to be it. We had three days in the end – two to write, and one to type up from out longhand, which we always write in, and collate everything.
After the transmission of the season, Phi and Jane Baker found themselves defending their scripts on the BBC's feedback programme Open Air, facing criticism from some fans including future showrunner Chris Chibnall.

The Bakers returned to Doctor Who at the start of the next season, introducing the seventh Doctor in Time and the Rani, a script which brought back their most enduring creation The Rani.

In the early 1990's they created the children's programme Watt on Earth which ran for 24 episodes on BBC One.

Jane Baker died in 2014. Pip Baker died this morning after being ill for some time following a fall.




Honor Blackman 1925 -2020Bookmark and Share

Monday, 6 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Honor Blackman _ Terror of the Vervoids (Credit: BBC)The actress Honor Blackman, best-known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore and Cathy Gale in The Avengers, has died at the age of 94.

Honor Blackman enjoyed a career spanning eight decades, appearing in many films and television series. She appeared in Doctor Who in 1986 playing Professor Lasky in the Sixth Doctor story Terror of the Vervoids.

Honor Blackman was born in East London in 1925, the daughter of a Civil servant. For a 15th birthday present, she was given acting lessons, a gift that would lead to her becoming one of the hardest working and most successful actresses of her generation.

Her film debut came in 1947 with a non-speaking part in Fame Is the Spur Other films include in 1948 Quartet based on short stories by W. Somerset Maugham and in 1950 So Long at the Fair in which she appeared with Dirk Bogarde. In 1958 she appeared in the film based on the Titanic disaster A Night to Remember.

Her breakthrough came in 1962 when she was cast as leather-clad crimefighter Cathy Gale in the hit British show The Avengers, playing alongside Patrick Macnee as John Steed. Her action role, which required her to learn judo, endeared her to the nation and with her distinctive dress sense, she quickly became a British icon. One side effect, a top ten single, Kinky Boots, recorded in 1964 with Macnee.

It was her performance in The Avengers which led to Albert R. Broccoli casting Blackman as Pussy Galore, opposite Sean Connery in the James Bond franchise, despite the show not being well known in America. He said, "I knew the Brits would love her because they knew her as Mrs Gale, the Yanks would like her because she was so good, it was a perfect combination".

Appearances followed in series such as Never the Twain, Bridget Jones's Diary, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Casualty and even a stint in Coronation Street where she played Rula Romanoff

In 1990, she was cast in a regular role in the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand, playing the glamorous mother of the lead female character. Blackman expressed her fondness for the role, saying it "made women who’d just retired and felt they’d been put on the backburner realise they had a lot of life left to live".

Blackman was a political activist and a member of the Liberal Democrats. She was a committed republican declining an honour from the Queen in 2002, as she felt it would be hypocritical to accept.

Honor Blackman's death was announced today by her family.
It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94. She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive and Toby.

As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother, Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent; with an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavours she contributed to some of the great films and theatre productions of our times




David Collings 1940-2020Bookmark and Share

Monday, 23 March 2020 - Reported by Marcus
David Collings (Credit: The Old Vic)Actor David Collings has died at the age of 79.

David Collings had a number of memorable appearances in Doctor Who appearing in eleven episodes of the Classic series between 1975 and 1983.

His first appearance was in the Fourth Doctor story Revenge of the Cybermen. Collins played Vorus, leader of the guardians on Voga. His performance as the proud renegade, trying to assert his races sovereignty but nearly bringing about their destruction was a tour de force.

He returned to the series in 1977 playing Poul in the story The Robots of Death. A very different role Poul was an undercover agent for the Kaldor City Company, eventually succumbing to Grimwade's Syndrome, the fear of Robots.

His final appearance came in the fifth Doctor story Mawdryn Undead, playing the title character Mawdryn, desperate to get the Doctor to give up his remaining regenerations.

David Collings was born in Brighton in East Sussex in 1940. His first television appearance came in 1964, playing Raskolnikov in a live production of Crime & Punishment. Over the next thirty years, he was a regular of the British screen appearing in such programmes as Dr. Finlay's Casebook, Point Counter Point, The Possessed, Canterbury Tales, Elizabeth R, By the Sword Divided, Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced, Sapphire & Steel and The Shadow of the Tower.

He played William Wilberforce in The Fight Against Slavery and Blind Pew in Treasure Island. In 1981 he appeared in the final episode of Blake's 7 playing Deva. He played Monkey in the late seventies adaptation of a Chinese folktale.

Film roles included Bob Cratchit in the classic 1970 film musical, Scrooge, as well as roles in The Thirty Nine Steps and The Outsider, while Radio listeners heard him as Legolas in the acclaimed BBC dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings.

In recent years Collins had worked for Big Finish appearing in several Doctor Who related productions.

David Collings died suddenly earlier today. He is survived by his children and by his wife, Karen Archer, who announced the death on Twitter.
I don’t if this is the right time, maybe no such thing anymore, but I feel I should share the news, for those who knew him, that our dear David Collings, actor, husband, father, died suddenly in the early hours of this morning. Perhaps we can celebrate him properly next year ...




Nicholas Parsons 1923-2020Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Nicholas Parsons (Credit: Keith Wynn/Spotlight)The actor and Game Show host Nicholas Parsons has died at the age of 96.

Nicholas Parsons played Reverend Wainwright in the 1989 Doctor Who serial The Curse of Fenric.

However he was best known as the host of the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute, working on the series since it was first broadcast on 22 December 1967. The show continues to be transmitted and Parsons has been heard in almost every edition.

Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire. He started his career while training as an engineering apprentice; he was found by Canadian impresario Carroll Levis, doing impressions and working in small repertory theatres in Glasgow.

Parsons made his film debut in Master of Bankdam in 1947. He continued his stage career in small parts in West End theatre shows, then did two years in repertory at Bromley, Kent and later Windsor, Maidstone and Hayes. After becoming a resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre in 1952, Parsons became well known to TV audiences during the 1950s as the straight man to comedian Arthur Haynes. After the pair appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961, the partnership broke up at Haynes request allowing Parsons to return to the stage, before he became a regular on The Benny Hill Show from 1969 to 1974. After Haynes' sudden death, Parsons appeared as a personality in his own right, culminating in the long-running Anglia Television game show, Sale of the Century, broadcast weekly from 1971 to 1983.

He was the non-singing voice of Tex Tucker in the TV series Four Feather Falls at the suggestion of his then-wife, actress and voiceover artiste Denise Bryer. During the late sixties, he presented a satirical programme on Radio Four called Listen to This Space, In the late 1960s, he portrayed "David Courtney" on the short-lived American sitcom The Ugliest Girl in Town.

Nicholas Parsons died in the early hours of the 28th of January according to a statement issued by his agent Jean Diamond on behalf of his family.
He was with his beloved family who will miss him enormously and who wish to thank the wonderful staff at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
BBC director-general Tony Hall said:
Very few people have done so much to entertain audiences over the decades, and no one deserves to be called a broadcasting legend more than Nicholas Parsons. His charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed. Our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him.
Mohit Bakaya, controller of BBC Radio 4, said
Nicholas Parsons was one of the greats, a first class broadcaster and an icon in the world of British comedy. Nicholas always brought his sharp wit, brilliant poise and warmth to everything he did - but particularly as host of Just a Minute where his excellence shone in each episode without hesitation, deviation or repetition.




John Griffiths 1931-2020Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 12 January 2020 - Reported by Marcus
John Griffiths with John Nathan Turner (Credit: Stephen Cranford)
The Film Editor John Griffiths has died at the age of 89.

John Griffiths was a member of the team responsible for the first-ever piece of Doctor Who screened, the original opening title sequence.

In 1963 Griffiths was working for the BBC at Ealing film studios when he was introduced to Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein, Doctor Who's first producer and director. They gave him the raw material of a recent studio session where they had filmed the output of an electronic camera looking at its own viewfinder and asked him to edit the material to provide a new title sequence for their new TV Series Dr. Who.

The sequence Griffiths produced, when combined with the music composed by Ron Grainer and realized by Delia Derbyshire, became one of the most iconic title sequences in television history, heralding the beginning of each episode for the next three years.

As film editor, John Griffiths also worked on the 1964 story The Dalek Invasion of Earth, editing the famous footage of the Daleks patrolling a deserted London. As production editor, he worked on the Third Doctor story The Mind of Evil, appearing in front of the camera as an extra in the story.

After retiring from the BBC John Griffiths retired to Worthing. He died on Thursday 9th January. The Original 1963 Titles | Doctor Who




Doctor Who In Memoriam 2019Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As 2019 draws to a close, Toby Hadoke has released his annual look back at those from the Doctor Who universe who we lost over the past twelve months.

Remembering those from the world of Doctor Who whose deaths were reported in 2019.




Donald Tosh 1935-2019Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Donald ToshThe writer and Script Editor Donald Tosh has died at the age of 84.

Donald Tosh was the last surviving writer from the era of the First Doctor. He served as Script Editor for 9 months, writing much of the 1966 story The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, rewriting the original script supplied by John Lucarotti. Later in the year, he rewrote much of the script of Brian Hayes classic story The Celestial Toymaker.

Donald Tosh had a long career in British Television. He was working at Granada Television in Manchester when he was asked to commission a twice-weekly series to compete with Emergency Ward 10, then the most popular show on the air. His solution was a new project called Florizel Street, created by a young man called Tony Warren. This later changed its name to Coronation Street.

In the early 1960's he moved to the BBC, working for Donald Wilson, then Head of Serials at the BBC. Against his better judgement, he was asked to script edit the soap Compact.
A twice-weekly serial! It was the one thing I loathed and wanted nothing to do with. However, I did it for eighteen months and learned a great deal about scriptwriting. Eventually, I went back to Donald and he told me that there were a few things that he'd be quite happy to move me to. One was another twice-weekly serial, and I said, no way and then he suggested Doctor Who and also told me that John Wiles was going to take over as producer from Verity Lambert and I said, oh, yes, then certainly I'd like to work on Doctor Who, as I knew Johnnie, we got on very well, and I had a huge respect for his work.
He joined the show in the summer of 1965, staying until the spring of 1966 and overseeing the stories The Time Meddler, Galaxy 4, Mission to the Unknown, The Myth Makers, The Daleks' Master Plan, The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve and The Celestial Toymaker. While some scripts needed very little work, most needed major rewrites to get them into a form necessary for TV Production.

His most accomplished work was probably for the story The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve., set in the French court of 1572. The script had been supplied by John Lucarotti, but on reading it Tosh realised it would need to be completely rewritten.
John sent in a script, and he hadn’t had any time to do his research, which was very unlike him. He had missed the whole point of the story, and everything else that was going in. It’s a period I know quite a bit about, so I had to go away and rewrite it from page one. Bill Hartnell was a good actor, and I wanted to give him something different to do. I gave Bill a doppelganger story where I got him to play the Abbot of Amboise, not just the Doctor. He had great fun doing it, as he wasn’t having to learn all the usual scientific lines, as he had to do as the old man. As a result of that, when he came back to playing the Doctor, his performance had really improved. I thought it worked brilliantly, and it’s one I’m still very proud of. It’s such a shame that the BBC no longer have it.
Tosh left the show in March 1966 after an argument over the scripts for The Celestial Toymaker, which had been rewritten while he was on holiday. He told the DWAS magazine The Celestial Toyroom, that he did regret leaving the series as quickly as he did.
I really always felt that I should have stayed on as story editor until after The Gunslingers, until after Donald Cotton was settled, but when I spoke to the new producer, Innes Lloyd, it became very clear to me that his idea of what Doctor Who should be and my idea of what Doctor Who should be were poles apart. So there was really no point in me trying to stay on. I could have done, but I suspect it would have lead to untold battles in the production office, which is very bad for any programme.
After Doctor Who worked on shows such as Sherlock Holmes and Ryan International, but left Televsion in the 1970's. He worked for a time for English Heritage and became Head Custodian of Sherborne Old Castle in Dorset.




Wendy Williams 1934-2019Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 11 December 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The actress Wendy Williams has died at the age of 84.

Wendy Williams played Vira in the highly acclaimed 1975 story The Ark In Space. Her performance as the revived human, struggling to adjust to the reality of the Wrin invasion. was a tour de force, developing real chemistry with the newly regenerated Fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker.

Wendy Williams was born in Cheam in Surrey, just south of London. Her first television appearance was in the 1954 play A Party for Christmas.

Over the next forty years, she became a regular on British Television, appearing in many popular series. Her first main role was as Lady Lizzie Eustace in the 1959 series The Eustace Diamonds. she played Frances Graham in Knight Errant Limited and Margaret Hale in North and South. Roles followed in The Further Adventures of the Musketeers, Thirty-Minute Theatre, The Regiment, Crossroads, Z-Cars, Dominic, When the Boat Comes In and Angels.

In 1976 she played Barbara in the Terry Nation series Survivors and later appeared in Poldark as Lady Basset. in 1981 she joined the cast of Tenko as Vicky Armstrong. The following year she played Lady Brandon in the Barry Letts production of Beau Geste.

Wendy Williams was married to Doctor Who director Hugh David until his death in 1987.




Ian Cullen 1939-2019Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 November 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Ian Cullen has died at the age of 80.

Ian Cullen appeared in the first series of Doctor Who, playing Ixta, who took on Ian in mortal combat, in the story The Aztecs.

He later played Nadeyan in the Big Finish production of Dark Eyes. This appearance came 48 years after The Aztecs, the longest gap for any actor in the Doctor Who franchise.

Ian Cullen first trod the boards in a village pantomime at the age of four and has been an actor ever since. He became a household name when he played PC Joe Skinner in "Z Cars" (1962), first appearing in 1969, the character was later promoted to Detective and stayed with the show for 6 years, until he was gunned down in the line of duty in one of TV's biggest shocks in the mid 70s.

Other recurring roles include the classic 60s hospital drama "Emergency-Ward 10" (1957), where he played Warren Kent (1966-67), "When the Boat Comes In" (1976), as Geordie Watson (1977-81) and as Angus Hart, the original lead of the Channel 5 soap opera "Family Affairs" (1997). Ian's character, Angus Hart, was also killed in a shock storyline when the entire Hart family were killed in a boat explosion. He has also guest-starred in many British television series, including "The Bill" (1984), "Blakes 7" (1978) and "Sorry!" (1981).

In 2008 he won a Gold Award for his narration of the feature-length documentary The Destiny of Britain (2007). He is survived by his wife, actress Yvonne Quenet and their three daughters.




Stephen Moore 1937-2019Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 12 October 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Stephen Moore The actor Stephen Moore has died at the age of 81

Stephen Moore played the Silurian Eldane in the Matt Smith Doctor Who episode Cold Blood. 

Moore's most notable role was as the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android in both the radio and television adaptations of Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

 Other appearances included the 1976 musical drama Rock Follies, the children's series The Queen's Nose and the drama Mersey Beat. He played George Mole in the TV adaptation of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.

 He made numerous appearances on stage at the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and London's West End.




Terrance Dicks 1935-2019Bookmark and Share

Monday, 2 September 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Terrance DicksOne of Doctor Who's most influential writers Terrance Dicks has died at the age of 84.

Terrance Dicks's contribution to Doctor Who was immense. He wrote forty-five episodes of the series between 1969 and 1983 and was script editor from 1969 until 1975, steering the programme through one of its most successful periods, helping to cast both the third and fourth Doctors.

For a whole generation of fans, he was the man who brought the series to life through his Target novelisations. In the days before DVD's and Videos, the only way of reliving old episodes was through the Target books. Over 60 were written by Dicks and they enabled fans to experience stories shown years before many were born.

Terrance Dicks was born in East London shortly before the second world war. He studied English at the University of Cambridge before serving for two years in the British Army. On his discharge, he won his first writing job working as an advertising copywriter before writing radio play scripts for the BBC.

It was his friend and mentor Malcolm Hulke who got him his first job in television, helping with the scripting on the first series if the ITV adventure series The Avengers. He would later return the favour by commissioning scripts from Hulke for Doctor Who.

His work on Doctor Who began in 1968 as assistant script editor, rewriting much of the Brian Hayes story The Seeds of Death. Promotion followed and he was charged with writing out the second Doctor with the epic 10 part series The War Games.

In 1970 a new producer Barry Letts was appointed and thus began one of the highest regarded partnerships in the whole series run. Together they guided the series for five years, one of its most successful periods. Both men left the series at the same time as Jon Pertwee but not before casting the unknown Tom Baker as Doctor number 4.

His commitment to the series didn't end with the third Doctor. He wrote several more stories including The Brain of Morbius, Horror of Fang Rock and State of Decay. In 1983 he penned the 20th-anniversary story The Five Doctor's, the last script he completed for the television series.

He wrote two Doctor Who plays, Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday in 1974 and Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure in 1989.

Away from Doctor Who he co-created the short-lived BBC science-fiction TV series Moonbase 3 and wrote for the ATV science-fiction series Space: 1999. He served once more as script editor to producer Barry Letts on the BBC's Sunday Classics strand, before succeeding Letts as the producer overseeing productions such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Vanity Fair.

Tributes to Dicks have been paid from many associated with Doctor Who including current showrunner Chris Chibnall
The lights of Doctor Who are dimmer tonight, with the passing of Terrance Dicks. He was one of the greatest contributors to Doctor Who’s history, on screen and off. As writer and script editor, he was responsible for some of the show’s greatest moments and iconic creations. As the most prolific and brilliant adaptor of Doctor Who stories into Target novels, he was responsible for a range of books that taught a generation of children, myself included, how pleasurable and accessible and thrilling reading could be. Doctor Who was lucky to have his talents. He will always be a legend of the show. Everyone working on Doctor Who sends his family and friends our love and condolences at this difficult time.




Glyn Houston 1925-2019Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 4 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Glyn Houston has died at the age of 93.

Glyn Houston appeared in two Doctor Who stories. In 1976 he played Professor Watson, the director of the Nunton Experimental Complex, in the Fourth Doctor story The Hand of Fear.

In he came up against the fifth Doctor playing Colonel Wolsey in the 1984 story The Awakening.

Glyn Houston had over 200 television credits dating back to the 1950s, appearing in some of the most loved programmes in British TV history.

Houston was born in Rhondda, in the Welsh Valleys, and brought up by his Widowed Grandmother, after his Mother died young and his Father disappeared.

He served in the Royal Signal Regiment during World War II and was briefly a stand-up comedian performing to soldiers. He made his first film appearance playing a barrow boy in The Blue Lamp in 1950. In the 1970s he played Lord Peter Wimsey's valet Bunter opposite Ian Carmichael in the teleplays of several of Dorothy Sayers tales. He played Ronald Judge in The Sherman Plays and Bernard Ingham in Thatcher: The Final Days.

Other appearances include Better Days, Inspector Morse, Keep It in the Family, Minder, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, The Sea Wolves, Breakaway, Shoestring, A Horseman Riding By, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Target, The XYY Man, Robin's Nest, Are You Being Served? , Beasts, Five Red Herrings, The Nine Tailors, Dixon of Dock Green, Sporting Scenes, Reg Varney, Jackanory, Clouds of Witness, Z Cars, Softly, Softly: Task Force.

Glyn Houston was the younger brother of film star Donald Houston and was a close friend of fellow Welsh actors Richard Burton and Stanley Baker. In 2009 he was presented with the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award.

His friend and biographer Dean Powell announced his death with deep regret.
He was kind, generous and an incredibly funny man who was a pleasure to know for over twenty years.

He enjoyed his career and was proud of his achievements and although I think he genuinely wanted to be a comic more than an actor, his vast quantity of work will remain a great legacy to the man and his natural talent.

Glyn enjoyed life, his family and his hobbies and didn’t let work get in the way of that. He always had time to speak to you, showed a genuine interest in other people’s lives.

Although he left the South Wales valleys seven decades ago, he had all of the great qualities of a working-class Welshman at heart.




Paul Darrow 1941-2019Bookmark and Share

Monday, 3 June 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Paul Darrow
The actor Paul Darrow has died at the age of 78.

Paul Darrow is best known for playing freedom fighter Kerr Avon in the Terry Nation series Blake's 7. He appeared in two Doctor Who stories, Doctor Who And The Silurians in 1970 and Timelash in 1985.

Paul Darrow was born in Surrey. After leaving school he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first professional performances were with the Bristol Old Vic.

In the 1960's he made his television debut in the series The Odd Man. A regular role in Emergency-Ward 10 followed, where he met his future wife Janet Lees-Price.

He appeared in Coronation Street, The Newcomers, The Flaxton Boys, Murder Must Advertise, Within These Walls and The Legend of Robin Hood where he played the Sheriff of Nottingham. In 1970 he had his first role in Doctor Who playing Captain Hawkins a UNIT officer helping the Third Doctor fight the Silurians.

The role for which he will always be remembered was as Kerr Avon, the amoral computer genius who was thrown together with the idealistic Roj Blake and found himself a freedom fighter taking on the corrupt Federation. Such was his presence in the role that Avon soon developed into the major character in the series, When actor Gareth Thomas left, Darrow's character assumed command. He appeared in all but the first episode, with the series finishing in dramatic style with Darrow's face being the last image seen on screen.

He returned to Doctor Who in 1985 playing Malin Tekker, a controversial performance with Darrow playing the part in the manner of Richard III.

He continued working with long-running roles in Emmerdale and Law & Order: UK, but in late 2014, he suffered an aortic aneurysm. Over the next few months, health complications meant he lost both of his legs.

Speaking to the BBC, Darrow’s friend and Personal Assistant Maureen Marrs, said:
Over three decades I have been Paul’s confidante and have had the immense privilege of being part of his life. A star has gone out today; the world will be a darker place without him.
Paul Darrow died early on the morning of the 3rd June after a short ilness.