Doctor Who stars including John Barrowman and John Sim and has paid tribute to “national treasure” Bernard Cribbins after his death at the age of 93.
He is the beloved children’s TV star and entertainer who played Wilfred Mott, the grandfather of the Doctor’s partner Donna Noble (Katherine Tate) between 2007 and 2010 and is due to appear in a 2023 episode celebrating the program’s 60th anniversary.
Barrowman, who played Captain Jack Harkness in the popular BBC show and its spinoff Torchwood, praised Cribbins as a “teacher and mentor” who showed him “the subtleties of comic timing and stage craft”.
The actor posted on Instagram, “When I started my career at Anything Goes in 1989, Bernard Cribbins was there with me not only as a kind co-star but also as a teacher and mentor, who helped me in comics. Showcasing the subtlety of timing and stage craft.”
“Where to get the best fish and chips and custard cream donuts in Soho over two show days — and oh right before we take the stage in our toffee eating contest.”
He continued: “Bernie was a true entertainer with an illustrious career that many could only dream of.
“Every show I landed on, when I got my MBE, or if it was just an article in the newspaper, he told me he’d pick up the phone and chat and congratulate or give his insight into what was to be celebrated or navigated. have to go.
“Bernard Cribbins was a friend, a part of our Doctor Who family, and a national treasure.”
Barrowman said: “I am in tears as I write this. I will miss him and our phone calls.
“Love you Bernie.”
Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davis shared a photo of Cribbins playing the snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
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He wrote: “He loved being in Doctor Who. He said ‘Kids are calling me Dada in the street!’ His first day with Kylie Minogue was on location, but all eyes, even Kylie’s, were on Bernard.
“He came with a suitcase full of props, including a rubber chicken, just in case. And what an actor. Oh, really, what a great actor. We once took him to the TV Choice Awards to pick up the award. Sent them on their own, and the whole room stood up and cheered them on.
“It’s a sweet memory. He’d call and say, ‘I have an idea! What if I attack a Dalek with a paintball gun?!’ OK, Bernard, went into it!”
Davis said he felt “so lucky” to have known Cribbins, adding: “Thank you for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world.”
Sim, who played the villainous renegade Time Lord, The Master, in Doctor Who also paid tribute, writing on Instagram: “Farewell Bernard. loved him. He’d happily do all of the wombles sounds on command… just taking me back in time, in fact!
“I am forever indebted to you for giving me a chance to meet/know/work with him. What a man. What an actor. What a life! A real legend. God bless him.”
Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss also paid tribute, writing on Twitter: “There was no one like Cribbins. A talented comedian with an incredible seam and a real heart.
“From Sellers to Star Turn, Wombles to Wilf. I once told him about his lovely performance in Hammer’s ‘She.’ of age.”
Doctor Who actress Georgia Tennant, who is also the daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and wife of 10th Doctor David Tennant, posted a small tribute on Instagram.
He said: “There are not many people in this world who inspire you to name many children after them. Such was the magic Bernard.”
A message posted on the official Doctor Who Twitter page added: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bernard Cribbins.
“Best known to fans as Wilfred Mott, the Doctor’s friend and Donna’s grandfather, Bernard leaves behind a long legacy in film and TV.”
Figures from Cribbins’ time as a children’s TV presenter also shared memories of her.
Dame Floella Benjamin tweeted: “I loved working with #BernardCribbins in the ’80s.
“He was a creative genius, a great storyteller and knew how to communicate with audiences. He has left a lasting legacy.”
One of his most memorable stage roles was playing Moonface Martin in Anything Goes alongside Elaine Paige at the Prince Edward Theater in 1989.
Musical theater star Paige said: “I am deeply saddened. My dear friend Bernard Cribbins has passed away. We met on Anything Go and have maintained our ‘friendship’ for over 33 years.
“A very special man of many talents. Funny, kind, genuine, he always had a smile and a quip on his face. One of the nicest people. I will miss him dearly.”
Songwriter Sir Tim Rice, best known for his work on shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Andrew Lloyd Webber, also remembered Cribbins for his turn in Anything Goes.
He tweeted: “RIP Bernard Cribbins. Brilliant movie/theater actor. Lovely man.
“He got to co-produce Kuch Bhi Hota Hai w/ @elaine_paige (rare example of my co-production that didn’t lose a packet).
“B.C. A Glorious Moonface Martin. And His Greatest Hit Records… Hole in the Ground, Right Said Fred.”
Tributes also poured in from the music world with artists like Boy George and the 1990s band Right Said Fred, who named themselves after their hit novelty song, sharing their memories online.