Entertainment & Arts

Roy Hudd, actor and comic, dies aged 83

Roy Hudd Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hudd starred in Coronation Street on and off between 2002 and 2010

Roy Hudd, who hosted BBC Radio 2's The News Huddlines for 26 years and also starred in Coronation Street, has died at the age of 83.

In a statement, his agent said: "We are sad to announce the passing of the much-loved and amazingly talented Roy Hudd OBE.

"After a short illness, Roy passed away peacefully on Sunday 15 March, with his wife Debbie at his side."

The all-round entertainer also starred in Coronation Street.

His agent added: "The family would ask you to respect their privacy at this very sad time."

Rory Bremner described Hudd's death as a "great loss".

The team at Have I Got News For You also tweeted a tribute.

"Hopefully Roy Hudd's death will not go unnoticed in the current crisis," the tweet read.

"Roy was a very generous comic who went out of his way to encourage young gag writers. Many producers and writers working in comedy today owe him a great deal."

Sandi Toksvig also paid tribute.

Comedy writer Simon Blackwell, who is best known for his work on The Thick of It, In The Loop and Veep, said he got his start thanks to Hudd.

"Very sad indeed to hear that Roy Hudd has died," Blackwell tweeted. "A really lovely bloke, a great comedian, excellent straight actor. And a comedy historian too.

"I got my start in comedy writing via his Radio 2 show The News Huddlines. He was a total joy to write for. All good wishes to his family."

The Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford also posted a tribute on Twitter.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss tweeted: "Farewell to the wonderful Roy Hudd. A great comic and actor. One of those joyous people who feel like they've been with us forever."

Hudd played Archie Shuttleworth in the ITV soap for several stints between 2002 and 2010.

In the 1990s, he won praise for his roles in Dennis Potter's Lipstick on your Collar and Karaoke.

He also starred in acclaimed crime drama Ashes to Ashes (2010), alongside Keeley Hawes and Philip Glenister.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Playing a pantomime dame for the first time at the age of 79

In 2015, he played his first pantomime dame in Dick Whittington and His Cat, the first show at the then newly renovated Wilton's Music Hall in London.

Other recent credits include ITV's murder mystery Broadchurch, Benidorm and Casualty.

He also co-wrote and played the part of Bud Flanagan in the musical Underneath the Arches.

Image caption The News Huddlines ran from 1975 to 2001

Hudd was born in Croydon, Surrey, in 1936.

One of his earliest jobs was as an artist working under Harry Beck, who produced the famous London Underground map.

Hudd made his professional debut as a comedian in 1957 at the Streatham Hill Theatre.

In 1958, he joined the Redcoats at Butlin's Clacton and worked alongside Sir Cliff Richard and Dave Allen.

But it was in satirical comedy that Hudd made his name after he began his TV career in 1964 with the BBC series That Was The Week That Was.

He also appeared on the BBC's Not So Much A Programme, More A Way of Life, alongside David Frost, William Rushton, John Bird, Michael Crawford and Eleanor Bron.

Hudd was also an authority on music hall and was president of the British Music Hall Society,

"The songs were terrific. They told good stories," he told the BBC earlier this year.

"The music hall songs have always appealed to me. I was brought up by a gran who always used to sing songs."

Hudd, who has a son, Max, from his first marriage, lived with his second wife, Debbie Flitcroft, in south London.

The pair met while working together in panto in Nottingham.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story