Alan Bennion 1930-2018Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 July 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Monster of Peladon (Credit: BBC)The actor Alan Bennion has died at the age of 88.

Alan Bennion appeared in 13 episodes of Doctor Who, playing Ice Lords in three serials featuring the Ice Warriors.

He first played Slaar, the leader of the Ice Warriors in the 1969 second Doctor story The Seeds of Death. He returned to the series in 1972 playing Izlyr, the Ice Warrior delegate to Peladon alongside the third Doctor, in The Curse of Peladon. His final appearance as a martian came in 1974 when he played Azaxyr. the leader of the Galactic Federation troops, sent to Peladon in the story The Monster of Peladon

Other television roles included playing The Scorpion in Sexton Blake, the Magistrate in Oliver Twist and Ted Williams in Juliet Bravo. He appeared in A Family at War, Z Cars, The Gentle Touch and Sorry!.




William Hughes 1998-2018Bookmark and Share

Friday, 13 July 2018 - Reported by Marcus
William Hughes, the actor who played the Master as a young boy, has died at the age of 20.

William Hughes played The Master in the 2007 story The Sound of Drums. At the age of eight, he was the youngest actor to play the renegade Time Lord. He also appeared in the 2008 Torchwood story Sleeper.

Hughes, from Mumbles in Swansea, Wales, gave up acting shortly after appearing in Doctor Who. His interests turned to Boxing, joining the Bonymaen ABC boxing gym in Swansea.

Fighting for the club he won 3 Welsh titles, before winning gold and bronze at the Great Britain championships. He won Gold at the 2017/18 British Universities and Colleges Sports Championships.

He was described as tremendously talented by former World Champion boxer Enzo Maccarinelli, who mentored the young athlete.
Absolutely heartbroken my little protege Will Hughes passed away today words can’t describe what the young man meant to me I loved him like family rest in peace will x
Hughes studied at Bishop Vaughan Catholic School in Swansea, where he was described as an exceptionally talented sportsman.
His warm and gentle character meant that he had many friends and they, the staff and the governors all hold his family in their thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time
Hughes had just completed he first year of a finance degree at Queen Mary University in London. It is believed he died on 9th July while on holiday on the Greek island of Corfu. A spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed their staff were supporting the family of a British man following his death in Corfu and were in contact with the Greek and UK police.




Helen Griffin 1958 - 2018Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 30 June 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The actress and playwright Helen Griffin has died at the age of 59.

Helen Griffin appeared in the 2006 stories Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel, playing Angela Price, known as Mrs Moore, who joined The Tenth Doctor and Rose in the fight against Cybus.

Griffin was born in Swansea in south Wales. She initially studied to be a psychiatric nurse at nursing college alongside comedienne Jo Brand and was a psychiatric nurse until 1986, when her passion for acting took over.

She is best known for playing the masseuse Lynette in the Welsh cult classic Twin Town, a 1997 British dark crime comedy-drama film filmed and set in Swansea.

Her first full-length play was Flesh and Blood, which she adapted into the screenplay for the film Little White Lies , in which she also starred, winning a Welsh BAFTA for her performance.

Griffin also appeared at The Edinburgh Fringe festival, alongside former collogue Jo Brand, in a collaborated play called Mental, based on their experiences as psychiatric nurses. Other television appearances include The Sherman Plays, Mortimer's Law, A Mind to Kill, Prime Suspect, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle, Casualty, Gavin & Stacey, Criminal Justice, Coronation Street and Going Forward.

In a statement, her agent said Helen Griffin died peacefully on Friday night surrounded by her loved ones.
She was a beautiful, talented, funny, clever and an inspirational woman who is much loved and will be sorely missed by all who knew her
Twin Town director Kevin Allen said:
Helen was a fantastic actor and a terrific writer, she was deeply principled but approached everything she did with a twinkle in those gorgeous, sexy eyes of hers. She was an intuitive, unselfish and very clever actor. The Welsh film industry has lost someone very special and she will be so sorely missed.




Leslie Grantham 1947-2018Bookmark and Share

Friday, 15 June 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Leslie Grantham (Credit: BBC)The actor Leslie Grantham has died at the age of 71.

Leslie Grantham had a small role in the 1984 story Resurrection of the Daleks playing Kiston, a member of Lytton's mercenary company. He will be best remembered for creating the role of Den Watts in the hugely successful soap opera EastEnders.

Born in Camberwell, south London, after leaving school, Grantham joined the Royal Fusiliers becoming a lance corporal. He was 18 when serving in Germany he bungled a robbery. During a struggle, he shot and killed a taxi driver, Felix Reese. Grantham insisted he did not know the gun was loaded and it had gone off by accident. The jury didn't believe him and convicted him of murder.

The next 11 years were spent in British jails. It was while serving in Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire that he met actress Louise Jameson, who was working as a prison visitor. She encouraged him to take up acting and on his release, he was offered a place at drama school

Leslie Grantham's big break came in 1984 when he was offered the role of the pub landlord in the BBC's new gritty drama, EastEnders, set in the working class area of East London. The director of the show's first episode, Matthew Robinson, had also helmed his appearance in Doctor Who.

His was the first voice heard in the show. The character was immoral, unscrupulous and cruel and it gripped the imagination of the British public. When the character made his daughters schoolgirl friend pregnant he was dubbed Dirty Den by the tabloids.

The Christmas 1986 episode, in which Den handed divorce papers to his wife Angie, was watched by 30 million viewers, half the population of the UK.

Grantham left the series in 1989. Other roles followed but he never achieved the success enjoyed while in EastEnders. He was lured back in 2003 for an 18 month stint.

Grantham has lived in Bulgaria for the last few years. He recently retured to the UK for medical treatment He died on Friday morning

He is survived by his three children, Michael (“Spike”), Jake and Danny




Graham Strong 1949- 2018Bookmark and Share

Friday, 18 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Mark Ayres and Graham Strong (Credit: Stephen Cranford)Graham Strong, the man responsible for the survival of many high-quality audio recordings of missing Doctor Who episodes, has died at the age of 69.

Graham Strong was a 14-year-old schoolboy when Doctor Who began in 1963. A keen electronics student, his hobby included building valve and transistor radios, as well as repairing televisions for neighbours. He was the proud owner of a second-hand Reel to reel tape machine and decided to use this to preserve the audio of this exciting new serial.

I can’t recall if I actually recorded the first episode of Doctor Who. The earliest recording I still have was the first episode of The Keys of Marinus first shown on 11 April 1964. Recordings were made via a basic crystal microphone (which came with the machine), hanging over the television speaker with a plant pot placed on the top of the T.V. to keep the microphone in place! Mother was given instructions to not enter the room when ‘recording was in session’
Following The Daleks' Master Plan, episode 7, Strong, used his electronics knowledge to wire the audio output from the television into the Tape recorder. A highly dangerous procedure that breaks every rule of electrical safety but one that resulted in recordings that were crystal clear.

Strong was one of a small number of early fans who recorded audio from the now missing stories. However, he is believed to be the only one to record directly from the Television, resulting in the superior quality of his recordings.

In 1994 an accidental meeting with a Doctor Who fan who had contacts in the BBC brought his collection to the attention of the corporation. By this time the master tapes of most early episodes had been junked and the episodes were either missing or only existed as film prints. After reassurance that his tapes would be carefully cared for, Strong handed over recordings containing over 100 Doctor Who episodes.

Strong's recordings have been used for the animated releases of missing episodes such as Power of the Daleks. His recordings are so clear that they often exceed the quality available on the surviving film prints of the episodes, and as a result, a number of DVD's of early episodes contain audio taken from Strong's recordings rather than the film print.




Ken Dodd 1927-2018Bookmark and Share

Monday, 12 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Ken Dodd / Sylvester McCoy (Credit: BBC )The comedian, singer and actor Ken Dodd has died at the age of 90.

Ken Dodd is best known for his sixty-year-long career as a music hall style entertainer but made a few forays into drama, one memorable appearance playing the Tollmaster in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story Delta and the Bannermen.

Kenneth Arthur Dodd was born on 8 November 1927 in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, the son of a coal merchant. His first job was as a door to door salesman, traipsing around the suburbs of Liverpool selling pots and pans to housewives.

The stage beckoned and after a long stint as an amateur, he turned professional in 1954, appearing in Nottingham as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter. Within four years he was topping the bill in the home of variety, Blackpool.

After a decade of touring the northern clubs, he ventured south making his London debut at the London Palladium in 1965, when he topped the bill in an extraordinarily successful 42-week run.

His first successful single came in 1960, Love Is Like A Violin. In all, he had 19 UK Top 40 hits including the song Tears, which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965 and remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time. For the next two decades, he was a regular on Television and Radio as well as continuing with a punishing schedule of stage appearances.

In 1989 came the court case which may have ended his career. He was accused by the Inland Revenue of tax evasion and committed for trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Details of his eccentricity emerged with tales of £336,000 hidden around his house. It emerged that he had 20 bank accounts in Jersey and the Isle of Man, and made regular 'cash and carry' flights to deposit money in them which was not declared to the Inland Revenue.

He was acquitted by the Jury swayed by the arguments of his defense counsel George Carman QC, who remarked: Some accountants are comedians but comedians are never accountants. He was however faced with a reported £2m bill for legal fees and tax he had previously promised to pay.

From that point, the Inland Revenue became a feature of his act as did his reputation for never being able to leave the stage. Some of you are optimists, he'd tell his audience at the start of a show, you've booked your taxis for half-past 12.

He was still touring well into his eighties and in 2016 was awarded a knighthood by the Queen for services to entertainment.

Ken Dodd married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones, two days before he died in the same house in which he was born.




Dorka Nieradzik 1949 - 2018Bookmark and Share

Friday, 9 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Makeup Designer Dorka Nieradzik has died at the age of 68.

Dorka Nieradzik worked on thirty episodes of Doctor Who, covering nine stories between 1980 and 1988.

Her first story was as Makeup Artist on the Fourth Doctor story The Leisure Hive. One of her first tasks was to age the leading actor, Tom Baker, using a mixture of makeup, prosthetics, and hairpieces. She then covered the final Fourth story, Logopolis, designing the Watcher, the ghostly apparition that helped the Doctor regenerate.

For the Fifth Doctor, she worked on the stories Four To Doomsday and Time-Flight, turning renowned actor Stratford Johns into a large frog-like creature as well as disguising Anthony Ainley's Master as the alien Kalid.

She designed the Makeup for three Sixth Doctor stories, Vengeance on Varos, Revelation of the Daleks and Mindwarp, presiding over the demise of the companion Peri, before working on two Seventh Doctor stories, The Happiness Patrol and Silver Nemesis.

Dorka Nieradzik was born on March 5, 1949 in Tarnowskie Góry, Silesia, Poland as Dorka Dorota Malgorzata Nieradzik, moving to Scotland, the home of her mother, at an early age. She began her career in the theatre working as a wardrobe assistant before winning a place as a BBC Makeup training course.

At the BBC she worked on most genres of programme, with credits as diverse as Last of the Summer Wine and Top of the Pops, EastEnders and Only Fools and Horses...., Yes Minister and the Dennis Potter drama's Cold Lazarus and Karaoke.

She later worked on the feature films Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Duplicity, The Boys Are Back and Shoot 'Em Up as the personal stylist for the actor Clive Owen.

She won a Bafta award in 1995 for Makeup on Cold Comfort Farm and in 2000 was honoured her with a special BAFTA award for her contribution to the industry. In 2004 she was made MBE for services to drama.

Dorka Nieradzik died on 12 February 2018. She is survived by her father, her sister Anushia, and brother, David,




Peter Miles 1929-2018Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 February 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Peter Miles has died at the age of 89

Peter Miles made three memorable appearances in Doctor Who.

In 1970 he played Dr. Lawrence in the second Third Doctor story The Silurians. Lawrence was the director of the Wenley Moor nuclear research facility, who refused to cooperate with UNIT's investigations. He met a memorable death when he succumbed to the Silurian virus.

He returned to the series in 1974, playing Professor Whitaker, the scientist responsible for flooding London with Dinosaurs, in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. He again met a sticky end when he was transported back to his desired 'Golden age'.

Peter Miles as Nyder (Credit: BBC)His final appearance came just a year later in the classic story Genesis of the Daleks. His chilling performance as Nyder, second in command to Michael Wisher's Davros, helped elevate the story to classic status. Who can forget the moment he switched sides after pretending to join the rebels - "Thank you, that’s what I wanted to know”

It was a role he relished and one he returned to in the Big Finish audio play Guilt and in two versions of the stage play The Trial of Davros.
Peter Miles had a long career in British television. His first recorded appearance was in 1968 in Armchair Theatre. Appearances followed in series such as Softly Softly, Dixon of Dock Green, Paul Temple, Colditz, Moonbase 3, Within These Walls, New Scotland Yard, Survivors, Poldark, The Eagle Has Landed, Z Cars, Warship, Disraeli: Portrait of a Romantic, Blake's 7, Blake's 7 and Bergerac

He also appeared in the 1993 BBC Radio Third Doctor play, The Paradise of Death, playing Tragan alongside Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen, as well as several Big Finish Productions.

The news that Peter Miles had died was released on his official Twitter page.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you Peter passed away peaceful at home, last week at the age of 89. He didn’t suffer & was full of his usual love of life last time we spoke. Thank you all for your interest in Peter, it meant a lot to him, he was always touched.




Jeremy Wilkin 1930-2017Bookmark and Share

Monday, 29 January 2018 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Jeremy Wilkin has died at the age of 87.

Jeremy Wilkin played Professor Kellman in the 1975 Doctor Who television story Revenge of the Cybermen.

He was best known for his extensive work with Gerry Anderson, providing the voice for many characters, including Virgil Tracy in Thunderbirds, Captain Ochre and Captain Black in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and many characters in the series Joe 90 and The Secret Service.

He was a recurring cast member for the live-action series UFO playing Skydiver Navigator Lt. Gordon Maxwell.

Jeremy Wilkin was born in Byfleet, Surrey and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

He lived in Canada for many years establishing a career as a television actor appearing in series such as Encounter, Cannonball, and Folio.

He returned to the UK in the mid-sixties appearing the ITV fantasy series Undermind as Drew Heriot, a personnel manager inadvertently drawn into a sinister plot to control human minds and sow discord in society.

After coming to the attention of producer Gerry Anderson he was engaged to take over the role of Virgil Tracy for the second series of Thunderbirds following the departure of the character's original voice actor, David Holliday. It was the start of a long relationship with the studios.

As well as his appearance in Doctor Who he had a memorable appearance in the first episode of Blake’s 7 playing Dev Tarrant, the man who betrayed Blake.

In the 1980's he appeared as Nat Kinsley in the BBC series County Hall as well as roles in Reilly: Ace of Spies, the Secret Army spin-off Kessler and in the Yorkshire TV series Number 10.

Jeremy Wilkin died on 19th December 2017.




Peter Wyngarde 1927-2018Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 January 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Peter Wyngarde has died at the age of 90.

Peter Wyngarde was best known for playing Jason King, the bestselling novelist turned sleuth who appeared in the British television series Department S and Jason King, inspiring the Mike Myers character Austin Powers. He appeared in the 1984 Doctor Who story Planet of Fire playing Timanov the devout religious leader of the planet Sarn.

Peter Wyngarde's origins are shrouded in mystery with the actor himself giving different accounts of his parents and birthplace. He is believed to have been born in France in the late 1920's, with 1927 being the most authoritative date. He grew up in the far east and during World War II was interned in the Lunghua internment camp in Shanghai, set up by the Japanese for European and American citizens living in the city.

After the war, he sailed to the United Kingdom on the Cunard White Star Line vessel the Arawa, arriving in Southampton at the age of 18.

After briefly studying law he joined an advertising agency and in 1946 won his first professional role in the theatre. One of his earliest roles was a production of Noël Coward's Present Laughter at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham.

His first television appearance was a bit part in the 1949 production of Dick Barton Strikes Back. He soon graduated to leading roles playing John the Baptist in the 1956 version of Jesus of Nazareth and Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities.

In 1959 he played Lt Jan Wicziewsky in South one of the earliest gay-themed British TV dramas. the play came just two years after the Wolfenden Report, when homosexuality was still very much a taboo subject, making Wyngarde’s impassioned performance all the more extraordinary.

In 1969 Wyngarde won the role that would make him a household name in the espionage series Department S. He played the suave womaniser Jason King, a character so popular that he was spun off into his own action espionage series Jason King, which ran for one season of 26 fifty-minute episodes. The series enjoyed global success with Wyngarde briefly becoming an international celebrity.

During the seventies, he has a succession of smaller roles on television. in 1973 he played the King of Siam in a revival of the musical The King and I at London's Adelphi Theatre. In 1980 he appeared as the masked character Klytus in the film Flash Gordon.

In 1984 he made his appearance in Doctor Who playing Timanov. He wanted to play the part in heavy disguise but was persuaded by producer John Nathan Turner to show his face.

Wyngarde virtually retired from acting after a throat infection forced his withdrawal from a stage production of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. His public appearances were mainly restricted to Memorabilia events.

Peter Wyngarde died at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on 15 January 2018.




David Fisher 1929-2018Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 January 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The writer David Fisher has died at the age of 88.

David Fisher wrote four Doctor Who stories, all starring the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. 

His first contribution to the series came in 1978 when he wrote two stories in the Key to Time season. The first, The Stones of Blood, was a Hammeresque story featuring blood eating rocks. It won praise for its depiction of strong female characters including Professor Rumford played by Beatrix Lehmann.

He wrote the following story The Androids of Tara, a story inspired by the Anthony Hope novel The Prisoner of Zenda.

In 1979 he returned to the series with the story The Creature from the Pit. He was also working on a story for this series called A Gamble with Time, but for personal reasons had to relinquish the story and hand it on to Script editor Douglas Adams to finish what became the widely acclaimed story City of Death.

His final contribution was for the season eighteen opener The Leisure Hive.

David Fisher's other work for television has included writing for Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, Hammer House of Horror, The Mackinnons, General Hospital, Crown Court, Sutherland's Law, The Lotus Eaters, Crime of Passion, The Troubleshooters, Dixon of Dock Green, This Man Craig and Orlando.

David Fisher was born 13th April 1929. He died on the 10th January 2018.




Doctor Who - In Memoriam - 2017Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 31 December 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Toby Hadoke has produced his annual tribute to all those from the world of Doctor Who whose death we heard about 2017

Toby Hadoke Tribute video to those people from the world of Doctor Who whose death we heard about in 2017




Rodney Bewes 1937-2017Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Rodney Bewes has died at the age of 79.

Rodney Bewes appeared in Doctor Who in 1984, playing Stien in the Fifth Doctor story Resurrection of the Daleks, but was best known to British audiences for playing Bob Ferris in 1960's sitcom The Likely Lads and its sequel Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads.

Rodney Bewes was born in 1937 in Morley, West Yorkshire. Childhood asthma kept him house-bound until the age of 12, but he achieved his ambition of becoming an actor, first appearing on stage at the age of 14. He studied for a time at RADA but dropped out.

In 1952 he made his television debut in Mystery at Mountcliffe Chase, a BBC Children's drama. He played Joe in The Pickwick Papers and appeared in supporting roles in series such as Dixon of Dock Green, Emergency-Ward 10 and Z Cars.

In 1964 he won the role with which he would make his name, the working class boy made good, Bob Ferris, in the sitcom The Likely Lads. The series, written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, pitted Bewes up against James Bolam as Terry Collier. Twenty episodes were made, detailing the struggle of two working-class boys from the North East, trying to make sense of a changing world, while facing the usual temptations of beer football, and girls.

In 1966 the series ended and the actors moved on, but a reunion was on the cards and in 1973 the series returned, this time in colour and with the new title Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?. The series was a tremendous hit as viewers followed the sparing between Bob, trying to improve his lot by moving into a detached house and getting a job as an executive, and Terry, desperately trying to cling onto his working-class roots.

Part of the success of the series was the double act of Bewes and Bolam, whose on-screen chemistry was a masterclass of timing and pathos. But the deep friendship was a TV illusion and in reality, the two actors had a stormy relationship. An interview given by Bewes in 1976 in which he talked about Bolam and his wife created a rift that would never be healed. Bewes called his co-star to apologise after the piece was published, but Bolam hung up and never spoke to him again.

Other roles included Knave of Hearts in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Albert Courtnay in Albert! and Reg Last in Just Liz . In 1969 he spent a year as Basil Brush's sidekick Mr Rodney.

His agent announced his death earlier today
It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much-loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning. Rodney was a true one-off. We will miss his charm and ready wit.
Rodney Bewes is survived by a daughter and three sons.




Keith Barron 1934-2017Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Keith Barron has died at the age of 83.

Keith Barron played the character Striker, one of the Eternals in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story Enlightenment. He is best known for playing David Pearce in the 1980s Yorkshire Television sitcom Duty-Free.

Kethe Baron was born in Mexborough, South Yorkshire in 1934. His career started at the Sheffield Repertory Theatre, where he also met his wife, Mary a stage designer.

His television career began in the early 1960's when he played a number of small roles before playing Detective Sergeant Swift in the Granada TV series The Odd Man and its spin-off It's Dark Outside.

His main break came in 1965 when he took the title role in two Wednesday plays, written by Dennis Potter, Stand Up, Nigel Barton and Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton, which detailed the character's journey from his childhood in a small mining community to winning a scholarship for Oxford and eventually becoming an MP.

In 1967 he played Jim Dixon in BBC Two's The Further Adventures of Lucky Jim, a comedy set in the swinging student world in London. He appeared in Jackanory, A Family at War, Love Story and No Strings. In 1974 we made a memorable appearance in Upstairs Downstairs as Gregory Wilmot, a love interest for Jean Marsh's Rose.

Many other roles followed and in 1979 he played Tim Hart in Telford's Change alongside Peter Barkworth. The same year he appeared in the ITV drama Prince Regent as Whig statesman Charles James Fox.

In 1983 he was asked at short notice to take on his one Doctor Who role, as Striker in Enlightenment. The role was originally to be played by Peter Sallis, who had to drop out when industrial action delayed production.

He played the Narator in West Country Tales and Daniel Ford in Leaving, before taking on the role that he is probably best known for, playing David Pearce in Duty Free.

Other roles included parts in Haggard, Take Me Home, Take Me Home, Room at the Bottom, Late Expectations, The Good Guys, All Night Long, Take Me, NCS Manhunt, Where the Heart Is, Dead Man Weds, The Chase, Law & Order: UK, DCI Banks and Casualty. He had a regular role in the soap Coronation Street playing George Trench.

Barron is survived by his wife, Mary, to whom he was married for 58 years, and his son, Jamie, also an actor.