Doctor Who and Wombles star Bernard Cribbins dies aged 93

Doctor Who and Wombles star Bernard Cribbins has died aged 93.

One of the most recognisable faces in British entertainment for more than seven decades, Cribbins enjoyed a long and extremely successful career in television, film, radio and on the stage. He was always recognised for his extremely versatile range of acting from drama to comedy, and his presenting and singing talents; having performed in almost every field of entertainment throughout the years from pantomime to Shakespeare and Top of the Pops to public information films.

Science fiction fans will remember Cribbins for his role as Wilfred Mott, grandfather to Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble, in the series between 2007 and 2010, and may also know that he appeared in the 1966 movie Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as Tom Campbell.

Other notable television performances included playing the station porter Albert Perks in the iconic 1970 movie The Railway Children, as a guest in Fawlty Towers, voicing hit BBC Children’s series The Wombles in the 1970s, and more recently as the star of Old Jack’s Boat (pictured above).

Tributes for the star have flooded in from the entertainment industry, led by Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies who was responsible for bring Cribbins into the series in 2007.

Said Davies on Instagram: “I’m so lucky to have known him. Thanks for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world.”

Dame Floella Benjamin, who worked alongside Cribbins on children’s television described him as “a creative genius, great storyteller and knew just how to communicate with an audience.”

Matt Lucas, who performed opposite Bernard Cribbins in Doctor Who said: “Thank you Bernard Cribbins for delighting us all. A lovely, funny, brilliantly talented man.”

Doctor Who and actor Mark Gatiss took to Twitter to pay tribute to Cribbins:

“There was no one quite like Cribbins. A gifted comic actor with an incredible seam of pathos and real heart. From Sellers to Star Turn, Wombles to Wilf. I once gushed to him about his lovely performance in Hammer’s ‘She’. That afternoon he was off to play 5 aside – aged almost 90”

A statement from the agent of Bernard Cribbins recognised his hugely diverse work as an entertainer and performer over so many decades.

“Beloved actor Bernard Cribbins OBE has passed away at the age of 93. His career spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like ‘The Railway Children’ and the ‘Carry On’ series, hit 60’s song ‘Right Said Fred’, a notorious guest on ‘Fawlty Towers’ and narrating ‘The Wombles’.

“He worked well into his 90’s, recently appearing in ‘Doctor Who’ and the CBeebies series ‘Old Jack’s Boat’. He lost his wife of 66 years, Gill, last year.

“Bernard’s contribution to British entertainment is without question. He was unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.”