Bernard Cribbins and Noel Fielding joke around on Never Mind the Buzzcocks
BBC

TV writer and showrunner Russell T Davies has penned a moving tribute to the legendary actor Bernard Cribbins who died at the age of 93.

During his first tenure as showrunner of Doctor Who, Davies worked alongside Cribbins playing that character Wilf and has recently been back on set to film for the show’s upcoming 60th anniversary.

Cribbins’ death was announced on Thursday (28 July), less than a year after the passing of his wife of 66 years, Gill, in October 2021.

Fans and colleagues from across the broadcasting world have shared their sadness at the news, with Davies penning a beautiful tribute highlighting the veteran actor’s kindness, humour and humility.

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In a post on his Instagram, Davies shared a commercial image of Cribbins with his head poking through a hole in a faux brick wall, taken when he played Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Davies began: “Bernard Cribbins (1928-2022) I love this man. I love him.”

Davies went on, highlighting how Cribbins seemed to know and be liked by everyone he encountered.

He wrote: “He knew everyone! He’d talk about the Beatles and David Niven, and how he once sat on the stairs at a party impersonating bird calls with T H White. Then he’d add, ‘I said to Ashley Banjo last week…’”

On Doctor Who, Davies wrote that Cribbins “loved” being in the popular children’s show and said he told him, “Children are calling me grandad in the street!”.

Davies continued: “His first day was on location with Kylie Minogue, but all eyes, even Kylie’s, were on Bernard. He’d turned up with a suitcase full of props, just in case, including a rubber chicken.

“And what an actor. Oh, really though, what a wonderful actor. We once took him to the TV Choice Awards and sent him up on his own to collect the award, and the entire room stood up and cheered him. That’s a lovely memory.”

Davies signed off the moving tribute, writing: “I’m so lucky to have known him. Thanks for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world.”

Posting on Twitter, comedic actor Matt Lucas shared a similar photograph, writing: “Thank you Bernard Cribbins for delighting us all. A lovely, funny, brilliantly talented man.”

One Doctor Who fan tweeted: “Dr Who fans agree on very little.

“We all agree that Bernard Cribbins was fantastic and we'd all have loved for him to be our granddad.

“Today is a sad one.”

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