Russell T Davies on Bernard Cribbins: “He loved being in Doctor Who”

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has paid tribute to the late actor Bernard Cribbins, saying “he loved being in Doctor Who.”

Cribbins, an actor, presenter and entertainer who died last month was one of the most recognisable faces in British entertainment for more than seven decades.

However, to many science fiction fans, he may be best known in recent times for his role as Wilfred Mott, grandfather to Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble, in the series between 2007 and 2010.

“It’s got to be said, he loved being in Doctor Who… with Bernard, it was deep and profound,” the Doctor Who showruner told Doctor Who Magazine.

“He properly respected this old show, and its success amazed him. We took him to the TV Choice Awards and he sat there in his dinner jacket and bow-tie with a look of amazement on his face, saying: ‘I’ve got kids in the street calling me Grandad.’

“We sent him on stage to collect the award, on his own, and the whole ballroom stood and applauded him, all whistling and cheering. Bernard on high!”

Russell T Davies had been among many people from the entertainment world who shared tributes in the immediate aftermath of Cribbins’ death.

He said at the time; “I love this man. I love him.”

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

It is understood that Cribbins’ character Wilfred Mott will appear one last time in next year’s 60th-anniversary special episode alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate who have also filmed scenes reprising their roles.

There is one more episode still to come of the Jodie Whittaker era, before the 60th anniversary special and the arrival of incoming Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa. The special episode will play out as part of the BBC’s upcoming 100th-anniversary celebrations this November, and will also be the last episode showrun by Chris Chibnall.