Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)

Film

Bernard Cribbins, star of 'Doctor Who' and 'The Wombles', dies aged 93

The actor, singer and comedian Bernard Cribbins has sadly passed away at the age of 93. Cribbins is probably best known for his various appearances in Doctor Who, as well as for the 1962 UK chart hit ‘Right Said Fred’. Throughout his career as an actor, he appeared in a range of films, including Carry On Jack, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Frenzy, and the 1956 version of David Copperfield.

The actor stepped into the world of Doctor Who for the first time in 1964, when he appeared in the film Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., in which he starred alongside Peter Cushing. Cribbins would later return for the revived series in 2007 to star as a recurring character Wilfred Mott.

Cribbins also served as the narrator of the beloved children’s animation The Wombles from 1973 to 1975. His trademark dulcet tones also saw him become a staple of the BBC’s storytelling show Jackanory, on which he appeared more times than any other guest.

In 1962, Cribbins had not one but two Top Ten hits in the UK: ‘Hole In The Ground’ and ‘Right Said Fred’. The former track was selected by none other than playwright Noël Coward during his appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. “I never met the gentleman,” Cribbins later said of Coward in 2014. “But I was in a traffic jam in Parliament Square once, and a limo pulled up alongside and he was sitting in the back seat, and I wanted to get out and say it’s me, it’s ‘Hole in the Ground.”

Russel T. Davies, who directed Cribbins on Doctor Who has taken Instagram to pay tribute to the national treasure. “I love this man. I love him. He loved being in Doctor Who. He said, ‘Children are calling me grandad in the street!’ His first day was on location with Kylie Minogue, but all eyes, even Kylie’s, were on Bernard.”