Bernard Cribbins: Doctor Who and The Railway Children star dies aged 93

Bernard Cribbins was best-known for his roles in The Railway Children, Dr Who, and Carry On films.

Bernard Cribbins dies aged 93
(Image credit: Getty)

Actor Bernard Cribbins, star of Doctor Who and The Railway Children, has died aged 93.

The career of the long-standing entertainer has spanned seven decades, with his rise to fame as the narrator of popular children's TV show The Wombles and host of Jackanory.

Breaking the news of his death, a statement from his agent, Gavin Barker Associates, reads, "His career spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like The Railway Children and the Carry On series, hit 60s song Right Said Fred, a notorious guest on Fawlty Towers and narrating The Wombles.

"He worked well into his 90s, recently appearing in Doctor Who and the CBeebies series Old Jack's Boat.

"He lost his wife of 66 years, Gill, last year.

"Bernard's contribution to British entertainment is without question. He was unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him." 

Bernard Cribbins has died

(Image credit: Getty)

The Oldham-born star is possibly most recognisable for playing station porter Albert Perks in the film adaptation of Edith Nesbit's novel starring Jenny Agutter and Sally Thomsett.

Jenny has paid tribute to her former co-star, "What a huge loss... He was such a very special person; the kindest, most generous, funniest man. Always so full of energy and joy, and that's what he has given to me and to so many." #RIPBernard"

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Meanwhile Russell T Davies, writer of Doctor Who, posted on Instagram, "Bernard Cribbins (1928-2022) I love this man. I love him. That's him as Snout in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

"D'you fancy doing some Shakespeare, Bernard? 'Let me see the script.' He knew everyone! He'd talk about the Beatles and David Niven, and how he once sat on the stairs at a party impersonating bird calls with TH White. Then he'd add 'I said to Ashley Banjo last week...' He loved being in Doctor Who.

"He said 'Children are calling me grandad in the street!' His first day was on location with Kylie Minogue, but all eyes, even Kylie's, were on Bernard.

"I'm so lucky to have known him. Thanks for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world."

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As narrator of The Wombles from 1973-1975, Bernard reached generations, as the series was endlessly repeated for decades afterwards meaning its legacy far outlived its short run. 

His unique voice tones meant he was a perfect fit for the BBC’s storytelling show, Jackanory, on which he appeared more times than any other reader, 114, between 1966 and 1991. And he also appeared in 11 episodes of Coronation Street in 2003 as Wally Bannister.

You can watch Bernard in action doing his voiceover for The Wombles below, where he explained the secret behind the shows...

Bernard's cause of death or funeral details have not been revealed.

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.