Children’s TV star and entertainer Bernard Cribbins has died aged 93, his agent has said.
The veteran Oldham actor starred in the films Carry On, Doctor Who and the 1970 film The Railway Children.
A statement from Gavin Barker Associates said: “Beloved actor Bernard Cribbins OBE has died aged 93.
“His career has spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like The Railway Children and the Carry On series, the 60s hit song Right Said Fred, a notorious guest on Fawlty Towers and the narration of The wombles.
“He did well into his 90s, 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 unquestionable. He was unique, representing the best of his generation, and he will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.
Cribbins was revered for his versatility and became a favorite with young audiences nationwide as the narrator of The Wombles, as well as having more than 100 guest appearances on children’s favorite Jackanory.
After appearing on stage for many years, Cribbins made his film debut in Davy in 1957, before working alongside some of the biggest names in British cinema in such films as Two-Way Stretch, She, Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD, the 1967 version of Casino Royale and Frenzy.
He also starred in several Carry On films and had roles in TV favorites Coronation Street and the revamped Doctor Who.
Off-screen Cribbins enjoyed a successful music career and had a number of hit records, including 1962 comedy songs Hole In The Ground and Right Said Fred, both of which reached the UK top 10 singles.
One of the roles for which he is arguably most famous was as station porter Albert Perks in The Railway Children, released in 1970.
The film adaptation of E Nesbit’s book chronicles the adventures of three children forced to leave London for Yorkshire after their father is imprisoned for being falsely accused of selling state secrets.
The film also starred a young Jenny Agutter and featured the heartbreaking moment at the film’s climax when Agutter’s character cries out “daddy, my daddy” as they are reunited on a train platform. Cribbins played station doorman Albert Perks.
In 2011 he received an OBE for services to the theater for his long career. Speaking at the investiture ceremony, he said providing the voices of characters such as Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory and Orinoco was simple because of the way The Wombles was written.
“The writing structure was such that you knew exactly where everyone was socially in that household,” he said.
He went on to appear regularly on the Doctor Who television series as Wilfred Mott, the grandfather of Doctor’s companion Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate.
Voyage Of The Damned, which aired on Christmas Day in 2007, saw 13.31 million people tune in to watch then-Doctor David Tennant fight to save the crew of an ocean liner. luxury called the Titanic.
Cribbins featured in the episode alongside special guests such as Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Palmer, Clive Swift and Russell Tovey.
He also starred in the CBeebies show Old Jack’s Boat and in the 1960s narrated the Tufty Fluffytale series of road safety public information films.
More recently, reports have surfaced that Cribbins was spotted filming alongside Tate and Tennant for Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary celebrations.