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Yes Minister and Heartbeat actor Derek Fowlds dies aged 82

The actor passed away this morning his family have said.

Derek Fowld pictured in 2002.
Derek Fowld pictured in 2002.
Image: PA Images

ENGLISH ACTOR DEREK Fowlds, best knowing for playing Bernard Woolley in Yes Minister and Oscar Blaketon in Heartbeat, has died at the age of 82.

The actor passed away this morning his family have said.

The actor died at Royal United Hospitals Bath in the early hours of Friday morning after suffering from pneumonia that led to heart failure caused by sepsis.

He was surrounded by his family when he died and is survived by sons Jamie and Jeremy.

Fowlds began as a stage actor before moving to screen in the 1960s. His first professional acting job was appearing in weekly rep at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Colwyn Bay in 1958, while on summer holiday from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

He then found fame with children as Mr Derek on The Basil Brush Show, alongside the glove puppet fox with the catchphrase “boom boom!”, from 1969 to 1973, replacing Rodney Bewes as the presenter. 

Later, he came to wider attention from 1980 for his portrayal of private secretary Bernard Woolley in BBC satirical comedy series Yes Minister. 

Source: BBC Studios/YouTube

He later appeared as a constant character on ITV’s Heartbeat throughout its 18-year run when he played police sergeant-tuned publican Oscar Blaketon.

Helen Bennett, his personal assistant and friend of many years, told the PA news agency:

He was the most beloved man to everybody who ever met him, he never had a bad word to say about anybody and he was so well respected, adored by everyone. You couldn’t have met a nicer person ever, he was just a wonderful man and I will miss him terribly.

Fowlds released his autobiography A Part Worth Playing in 2015.

- With reporting by Press Association

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Rónán Duffy

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