Doctor Who star Michael Jayston has died aged 88 after a "short illness", his agent has confirmed.


M&M Famous Faces said in a statement on behalf of his family on Monday (5th February): "It is with great sadness that I have been asked by his family to share the news: Michael Jayston sadly passed away this morning after a short illness."

The statement continued: "Those who knew Michael will know he was full of love, laughs and happiness. He adored meeting his fans all over the world

"His family and friends would appreciate privacy at this time."

The British actor is best known for playing antiques expert James Turner in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses.

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He is also known for starring in the historical film Nicholas and Alexandra, which told the story of the last days of the tsars in Russia and the relationship between Nicholas II and his wife.

Born in West Bridgford in Nottingham, Jayston trained in acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and began his career in 1962 performing at the Bristol Old Vic.

He went on to star as Captain Von Trapp in the 1981 stage revival of The Sound of Music at the Apollo Victoria in London alongside Petula Clark, who portrayed the role of Maria.

Jayston also starred as Edward Rochester in a 1970s TV adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, while Doctor Who fans will recognise him from his role as the Valeyard in fourteen episodes of the sci-fi series.

Other acting credits include Emmerdale, EastEnders, Coronation Street and more.

In 1990, he played the role of Ian Fleming’s James Bond in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of You Only Live Twice.

Tributes have been flooding in for the late star following the news of his passing, with actress Nicola Bryant writing on Twitter, which was recently rebranded as X: "I just got a message to say the incredible Michael Jayston has left us! He was an absolute gentleman, with the biggest twinkle in the business.

"An extraordinary raconteur and one of the loveliest men I’ve ever met. No more long lunches. My thoughts are with his lovely wife Ann."


Colin Baker, who played the Sixth Doctor, penned: "My dear dear friend, Michael Jayston has left us today. I am absolutely devastated. He was warm witty, clever naughty and a very fine actor & wonderful man. My thoughts and love go to his wife Ann and daughter Katie. Heartbroken Goodbye my friend."