The Radio Times logo

Doctor Who's Russell T Davies shares poignant memory of Bernard Cribbins

Cribbins sadly passed away aged 93 last month.

Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott in Doctor Who.
Published: Thursday, 18th August 2022 at 2:52 pm
Subscribe to Radio Times magazine and get 12 issues for £1

When news broke that TV legend Bernard Cribbins had passed away aged 93 last month, it was met with a flood of tributes from fans and admirers around the world.


One of the most moving of those tributes came from returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, who had worked with the actor during his first stint on the sci-fi juggernaut.

"Thanks for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world," the It's A Sin creator wrote on Instagram underneath an old photo of Cribbins playing Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while also sharing a few anecdotes of their time together.

Now, in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Davies has shared another poignant story about working with the Wilfred Mott actor.

"It’s got to be said, he loved being in Doctor Who ... with Bernard, it was deep and profound," Davies wrote.

"He properly respected this old show, and its success amazed him. We took him to the TV Choice Awards and he sat there in his dinner jacket and bow-tie with a look of amazement on his face, saying 'I’ve got kids in the street calling me Grandad.'

"We sent him on stage to collect the award, on his own, and the whole ballroom stood and applauded him, all whistling and cheering. Bernard on high!"

Cribbins's first Doctor Who appearance came long before the start of Davies's tenure on the show – in the 1966 feature film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD.

But it was for his role as Wilf, the loveable grandfather to Tate's companion Donna Noble, that he made his greatest contribution to the beloved series, appearing in 10 episodes between 2007 and 2010.

He was also spotted filming scenes for the upcoming 60th anniversary special just a few weeks before his death, so there's still a chance fans will get one more emotional glimpse of Wilf next year.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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.


Sponsored content