Actress and comedian Lynda Baron has died aged 82, her agent has confirmed.


The entertainer enjoyed a long career, which included acclaim for her performance in classic BBC sitcom Open All Hours during its initial run in the 1970s and its 2013 revival, both co-starring Sir David Jason.

She is also fondly remembered by many as a regular face in their childhood viewing, thanks to her role in CBBC's educational programme Come Outside, where she played Auntie Mabel – instantly recognisable by her polka dot plane.

She also starred as Linda Clarke in BBC soap EastEnders, the mother of Jane Beale (played by Laurie Brett), a role she originated in 2006 and returned to for stints in 2008 and 2016.

Most recently, she appeared opposite Toni Collette in sports comedy-drama Dream Horse, which was released in the UK last summer to a strong reception from critics.

"We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Sarah, her son Morgan and all her family," said Baron's former agent Donna French in a statement.

She is also a big name among Doctor Who fans, having guest starred in the long-running sci-fi drama on three occasions, the last of which was 2011's Closing Time co-starring Matt Smith and James Corden.

The show's official Twitter account is among the many who have shared tributes to the late actress today.

Sally Lindsay said in a tweet: "I loved Lynda Baron. She was funny and clever and a joy to work with, and she once gifted me a pair of beautiful red shoes. This has made me very sad. RIP Lynda darling."

Baron's ties to the soap world go beyond her recurring role in EastEnders, as she also earned a BAFTA nomination for her performance in The Road to Coronation Street, which dramatised the days leading up to the ITV drama's premiere.

Her career began at the age of 16 when she was hired for a pantomime in Liverpool, after spending some time training at the Royal Academy of Dance.


Reflecting on her career, she told Sunday Post in 2020: "It was certainly a start and I have been quite busy ever since. You get your lulls in work and that makes you all the more grateful when the next job comes along and all the more determined to give it your best."