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Doctor Who and As Time Goes By actor Geoffrey Palmer dies aged 93

The TV star was known for acting alongside Judi Dench in comedy As Time Goes By.

Geoffrey Palmer
Published: Friday, 6th November 2020 at 1:48 pm

Actor Geoffrey Palmer, known for his roles in Butterflies and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, has died age 93.


His agent confirmed the news to

Palmer was most recognisable from sitcom As Time Goes By, which he starred in alongside Judi Dench. The show, which ran from 1992 to 2005, followed a pair of former flames who rekindled their relationship after 38 years apart.

BBC Four will air the As Time Goes By episode 'Wedding Day Nerves' on Monday (9th November) at 7:30pm to mark Palmer's passing.

Dench and Palmer reprised their working partnership in The Madness of King George and James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. While Dench played intelligence boss M in the 1997 Pierce Brosnan spy thriller, Palmer portrayed Rear Admiral Roebuck.

Palmer was also known for his roles in Mrs Brown, Fawlty Towers, The Saint and The Avengers.

Sci-fi fans will also know Palmer from his three appearances in Doctor Who, featuring in 1970s stories Doctor Who and the Silurians and Mutants. He returned to the show in 2007 episode Voyage of the Damned, playing the captain in the Christmas special.

Palmer also memorably featured as haphazard Field Marshal Haig in Blackadder Goes Forth, alongside Rowan Atkinson.

He appeared in several movies, including A Fish Called Wanda, Clockwise, The Pink Panther 2, Bert and Dickie and the Paddington movie.

Palmer narrated many several audiobooks through his lengthy career, lending his voice to the likes of A Christmas Carol.

He was made an OBE in 2004 for services to drama.

Several stars of screen have paid tribute on Twitter, including director Edgar Wright. Referencing BBC sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, in which Palmer played Jimmy Anderson, Wright wrote: “The flight path gag wiping out the lines of Reggie Perrin’s brother in law is one of my favourite running gags in comedy. RIP to the brilliantly funny Geoffrey Palmer.”

Inside No 9’s Reece Shearsmith added on Twitter that Palmer was “an immaculate singular actor, always brilliant in everything, but my favourite was always Ben Parkinson in ‘Butterflies’”.

BBC entertainment journalist Lizo Mzimba also paid tribute to the actor, saying he “Grew up watching Geoffrey Palmer in so many shows”.


Many other fans also posted tributes, fondly recalling Palmer’s role in hit comedy Fawlty Towers. In 1979 episode, Palmer played Dr Price, a character who quarrels with waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) over a string of sausages.


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