Bernard Cribbins: Tributes paid to star of The Railway Children and Doctor Who

Tributes have been paid to star of The Railway Children and Doctor Who, Bernard Cribbins, who has died at the age of 93.

A statement from Gavin Barker Associates said: “Beloved actor Bernard Cribbins OBE has passed away at the age of 93.

The team at Doctor Who have marked Bernard Cribbins’ “long legacy” following his death aged 93.

Cribbins starred as Wilfred Mott in the sci-fi show from 2007-2010.

They tweeted: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Bernard Cribbins.”

“Known best to Doctor Who fans as the Doctor’s friend and Donna’s grandad Wilfred Mott, Bernard leaves behind a long legacy in film and TV.”

Actor Mark Gatiss has said “there was no one quite like” Bernard Cribbins.

Actor and presenter Bernard Cribbins, after he received the annual J M Barrie Award for a lifetime of unforgettable work for children on stage, film, television and record. Bernard Cribbins, who narrated The Wombles and starred in the film adaptation of The Railway Children, has died aged 93, his agent said. Issue date: Thursday July 28, 2022.

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Gatiss, a writer for Doctor Who in which Cribbins starred, tweeted: “There was no one quite like Cribbins.”

“A gifted comic actor with an incredible seam of pathos and real heart.

“From Sellers to Star Turn, Wombles to Wilf.

“I once gushed to him about his lovely performance in Hammer’s She.

“That afternoon he was off to play 5 aside – aged almost 90.”

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has paid tribute to Bernard Cribbins following his death at the age of 93, saying: “A legend has left the world.”

Cribbins, who starred as Wilfred Mott in the sci-fi programme from 2007 to 2010, was remembered by Davies on Instagram as “an old soldier”.

Alongside a picture of the veteran actor with his face poking through the hole of a fake brick wall, he wrote: “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.

“He’d turned up with a suitcase full of props, just in case, including a rubber chicken. And what an actor. Oh, really though, what a wonderful actor. We once took him to the TV Choice Awards and sent him up on his own to collect the award, and the entire room stood up and cheered him. That’s a lovely memory. He’d phone up and say ‘I’ve got an idea! What if I attack a Dalek with a paintball gun?!’ Okay, Bernard, in it went!

“He loved Gill with all his heart; he mentioned her in every conversation we ever had. A love story for the ages.

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

The Charlatans lead singer Tim Burgess has paid tribute to Bernard Cribbins following his death.

In a tweet, he said: “Farewell Bernard Cribbins. Safe travels.”