Derek Fowlds, who played private secretary Bernard Woolley in ’80s sitcom Yes Minister and its spin-off Yes Prime Minister, has passed away at the age of 82, his family has confirmed.
Fowlds reportedly died in the early hours of Friday 17th January, at the Royal United Hospitals Bath after suffering from pneumonia.
The actor had a long and successful career with other roles including an 18-year stint as Oscar Blaketon on ITV police drama Heartbeat, and Mr Derek on The Basil Brush Show – his very first role.
His assistant, Helen Bennett, said, “He was the most beloved man to everybody who ever met him, he never had a bad word to say about anybody and he was so well respected, adored by everyone.
“You couldn’t have met a nicer person ever, he was just a wonderful man and I will miss him terribly.”
Many stars have taken to social media to pay their tributes to the actor, who is survived by two sons.
Film director Edgar Wright tweeted a clip from Yes Prime Minister featuring Fowls, writing, “RIP Derek Fowlds AKA ‘Mr Derek’ AKA Sir Bernard Woolley. This is as classic a scene in British comedy as they come.”
Actress Katy Manning wrote, “My darling #DerekFowlds my friend of so many years & so many adventures has gone on, on his awfully big adventure, my heart hurts today but my memories will be filled with smiling memories. My deepest love goes out to his family who he loved so dearly.”
Meanwhile, the official Basil Brush Twitter account posted, “I don’t know what to say, I’m so desperately sad. Such times we had, rest in peace Mr Derek, my best friend forever.”