Terrence Hardiman, star of the CBBC show The Demon Headmaster, has died aged 86.


The news of Hardiman's death was announced by his agents Scott Marshall Partners, who said he was a "beloved client and much-loved stage and screen actor".

Hardiman was best known for his role as the titular Demon Headmaster in the children's series which ran from 1996 to 1998. A sequel series followed in 2019, in which Hardiman made a cameo appearance.

As well as his role in the series, Hardiman was also known for appearing in shows such as Doctor Who, Wallander, Agatha Raisin and The Crown, alongside many other roles.

Terrence Hardiman making a cameo in the rebooted Demon Headmaster
Terrence Hardiman making a cameo in the rebooted Demon Headmaster. BBC

Stage and screen actor Hardiman was born in Forest Gate, London in 1937, and first became widely-known for his role as barrister Stephen Harvesty in the series Crown Court, which he starred in between 1972 and 1983.

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The actor spoke with RadioTimes.com about his role in both The Demon Headmaster and its sequel series in 2019, saying that when he was first offered the role, he thought: "What a horrible character. How lovely. A real villain of a piece. Why not?"

He then spoke about how the role affected his life and career, saying: "I started to be recognised in the street, especially as I lived near schools around here, in North-West London. And there were people – youngsters – looking at me, and shouting out at me, and making fun of me, which is very healthy. It stopped me being too grand!

"But then the slightly more remarkable thing, I found, was that it wasn’t just children who were watching. It was parents and other people, too."

Following the news of his death tributes have poured in from fans, with one Twitter user writing: "'The Demon Headmaster' was my favourite show when I was a really young child (in single digits), and Terrence Hardiman's lead performance was both chilling and captivating. From what I've been told, he was in reality the nicest people you could ever meet. He will be missed."

Meanwhile, maths teacher and broadcaster Bobby Seagull wrote: "Rest in Peace actor Terrence Hardiman. For me, he was iconic playing the title role in the CBBC series The Demon Headmaster."


Hardiman is survived by his wife Rowena and his children.