Bernard Cribbins has died, aged 93.


A statement from Gavin Barker Associates confirmed that the Doctor Who actor had passed away, saying: "His career spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like The Railway Children and the Carry On series, hit '60s song Right Said Fred, a notorious guest on Fawlty Towers and narrating The Wombles.

"He worked 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 without question. He was unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him."

More like this
Bernard Cribbins (GETTY)
Bernard Cribbins Getty

Born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1928, Cribbins' seven-decade career in entertainment began when he worked as an assistant stage manager at a local theatre club, taking on small acting roles, before later serving an apprenticeship at the Oldham Repertory Theatre.

In the 1950s, he began making appearances in the West End theatre, before finding chart success with a string of comic songs, most famously 1962's Right Said Fred, which reached number 10 in the singles chart.

Film roles followed, including appearances in three Carry On movies and the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967). In 1966, Cribbins had his first brush with the worlds of Doctor Who, playing police constable Tom Campbell in the film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 AD, and in 1970 he took on one of his best-loved roles as station porter Mr Albert Perks in The Railway Children.

Cribbins was also known for his voice work, narrating children's series The Wombles from 1973 to 1975. He was also the most-featured celebrity storyteller on BBC series Jackanory, making a total of 114 appearances between 1966 and 1991.

Having played a number of memorable roles on television over the years – including that of spoon salesman Mr Hutchinson in a 1975 episode of Fawlty Towers – Cribbins won over a whole new legion of fans in the 2000s through his role as loveable Wilfred Mott in Doctor Who, grandfather to Catherine Tate's companion Donna Noble.

In 2009, Cribbins was honoured for his work in children's television with a Special Award at the British Academy Children's Awards which was presented by former co-star Tate, while he was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to drama.

Bernard Cribbins with Catherine Tate(GETTY)
Bernard Cribbins with Catherine Tate

Cribbins was married to Gillian McBarnet in 1955 and the pair remained together until her death in October 2021.

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies was among those who paid tribute to Cribbins, penning an emotional post on Instagram. "I’m so lucky to have known him," Davies wrote. "Thanks for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world."

Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Drama hub.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.