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BBC celebrities we said goodbye to in 2017

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As 2017 draws to a close we remember some of the actors, presenters, writers and comedians who have graced the BBC with their talents, but sadly died during the year.

Gordon Kaye, 7 April 1941 - 23 January 2017

Actor Gordon Kaye was best known for playing Rene in BBC wartime-set sitcom 'Allo 'Allo. Here he is pictured on set in 1991.

John Hurt, 22 January 1940 - 25 January 2017

Award-winning actor John Hurt was probably best known for playing the title role in The Elephant Man. Here he is pictured in a production still from The Alan Clark Diaries which aired on BBC Four, and later BBC Two, in 2004.

Desmond Carrington, May 23 1926 - February 1 2017

Veteran broadcaster Desmond Carrington's career spanned 70 years. His BBC Radio 2 programme aired from 1981 until he retired in 2016. Above is a clip from his The Music Goes Round show as he bade farewell to BBC Radio 2 in 2016.

Alan Simpson, 27 November 1929 - 8 February 2017

Alan Simpson, along with writing partner Ray Galton, created some of the BBC's most memorable sitcoms including Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. Here he is outside Television Centre in 1970.

Sara Coward, 30 January 1948 - 12 February 2017

Actress Sara Coward played Caroline Sterling in Radio 4's The Archers for almost 40 years. Here she is recording the worlds longest-running radio soap with the Duke Of Westminster and Arnold Peters as Jack Woolley in 1984 (The Duke Of Westminster appeared in an episode of The Archers that year as himself when the Duke visited Ambridge to open a Fashion Gala at Grey Gables in aid of the NSPCC of which he was National Centenary Appeal Chairman).

Steve Hewlett, 8 August 1958 - 20 February 2017

Seasoned BBC presenter Steve Hewlett started out on Nationwide in the early 1980s. He went on to present the Media Show on Radio 4 from 2008 when the programme launched.

Tim Pigott-Smith, 13 May 1946 - 7 April 2017

Veteran actor of stage and screen Tim Pigott-Smith recently made waves in Mike Bartlett's King Charles III in the West End and on the BBC. Here he is pictured, behind-the-scenes as Count Dietrichstein in Eroica in 2003.

Brian Matthew, 17 September 1928 - 8 April 2017

BBC Radio 2's Sounds Of The Sixties presenter Brian Matthew. Brian presented the show between 1990 and 2016, but worked for the BBC for 63 years from 1954 until 2017.

John Noakes, 6 March 1934 - 28 May 2017

National treasure John Noakes was the longest-serving host of Blue Peter, and a household name in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Here he is with his dog Shep on the set of Blue Peter.

Peter Sallis, 1 February 1921 - 2 June 2017

English actor Peter Sallis was known as the voice of Wallace in Wallace and Gromit and as Cleggy in Last Of The Summer Wine - here he is pictured with his co-stars from the BBC sitcom in 1999.

Andy Cunningham, 13 May 1950 - 5 June 2017

English actor, puppeteer, ventriloquist and writer was the creator and star of Bodger and Badger, here he is on the show in 1991.

Brian Cant, 12 July 1933 - 19 June 2017

Brian Cant was an actor best known for his work on BBC children's programmes, he lent his voice to characters in Camberwick Green, Chigley and Trumpton. He also presented Play School. Here he is presenting Play Away in 1971.

Barry Norman, 21 August 1933 - 30 June 2017

Film critic Barry Norman was a well known fixture on the BBC's Film... series from 1972 to 1998. Above is a shot of him presenting Film '79.

Deborah Watling, 2 January 1948 - 21 July 2017

Actress Deborah Watling was known for playing Victoria Waterfield, companion to the second doctor, Patrick Troughton. Here she is in character in Doctor Who: Fury From The Deep in 1968.

Hywel Bennett, April 8 1944 - July 25 2017

Welsh actor of stage and screen Hywel Bennett was known for playing the title role in ITV sitcom Shelley. He also appeared in appeared in three Dennis Potter serials – Pennies from Heaven (on BBC One in 1978, pictured above) and also in Karaoke and Cold Lazarus (1996).

Robert Hardy, October 29, 1925 - 3 August 2017

Actor Robert Hardy had a career that encompassed seven decades and crossed film, television and theatre. Here he is as Siegfried Farnon in BBC One's series based on the books by James Herriot, All Creatures Great And Small, in 1988.

Bruce Forsyth, 22 February 1928 - 18 August 2017

Veteran TV presenter and national treasure Bruce Forsyth's career spanned 75 years. In this clip Strictly Come Dancing pay tribute to Brucey who presented 11 series of the show from its first episode in 2004.

Sean Hughes, 10 November 1965 – 16 October 2017

Award-winning Irish comedian Sean Hughes was known for his stand up, but also wrote and acted. He was also a regular team captain on BBC Two's Never mind the Buzzcocks, where he is pictured with his teammates Liz McClarnon and Lloyd Cole in 2000.

Rosemary Leach, 18 December 1935 - 21 October 2017

Award-winning actress Rosemary Leach's career spanned seven decades, and encomapssed roles on stage and screen. Most recently she played a returning role in sitcom My Family on BBC One. Here she is pictured with Edward Fox in Thirty-Minute Theatre: Bermondsey broadcast on BBC Two in 1972.

Antonio Carluccio, 19 April 1937 - 8 November 2017

Italian chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio wrote 22 books and presented TV programmes including Antonio Carluccio's Italian Feast (pictured in 1996) and Two Greedy Italians with Gennaro Contaldo.

Keith Barron, 8 August 1934 - 15 November 2017

Actor Keith Barron was known for TV roles in Upstairs Downstairs and Minder. Here he is as Nigel with Valerie Gearon as his wife Ann in Vote, Vote, Vote, For Nigel Barton in 1965.

Rodney Bewes, 27 November 1937 – 21 November 2017

Actor Rodney Bewes was a familiar face thanks to his role in BBC television sitcom The Likely Lads (1964–66). He also played Mr Rodney on The Basil Brush Show 1968–69 (pictured).

Keith Chegwin17 January 1957- 11 December 2017

Much-loved presenter Keith Chegwin worked as a DJ on Radio 1 and presented many Children's shows. Here he is pictured (centre), with fellow Cheggers Plays Pop presenters Debby Cumming and Gordon Astley, in 1979.

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