Wales

Tributes paid after High Hopes star Bob Blythe dies

Robert Blythe
Image caption Bob Blythe was best known for his role in Welsh sitcom High Hopes

Tributes have been paid to Bob Blythe, the star of Welsh sitcom High Hopes, who died on Tuesday aged 71.

The Port Talbot-born actor played Fagin in the BBC Wales drama which ran from 2002 to 2009.

But most of Blythe's career was spent on the stage and he appeared in productions including Under Milk Wood.

He was described as "one of Wales' finest comedy actors" by BBC Wales' commissioning executive for comedy Paul Forde.

"Over six series and numerous special episodes he continuously delighted audiences with his hilarious portrayal of Richard 'Fagin' Hepplewhite," he added.

"He was always a consummate professional, well-loved by cast and crew and will be sadly missed."

Describing him as "witty, charming" and "a really good bloke", his co-star Boyd Clack said: "He had really loved working on High Hopes, said it was the best thing he's done in his life, and he always appreciated being recognised in public for it.

"He'd starred in a lot. It was the thing he liked the most - but he was very different in reality to his character, had a very beautiful voice and he was very well read."

As a stage actor, Blythe starred in productions including A Christmas Carol and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and toured the Far East, Middle East, India and Europe.

Hollywood actor Julian Lewis Jones, who starred in the film Invictus, said: "I've just been told some very sad news that my good friend and fellow actor Bob Blythe has passed away quietly this evening.

"Bob was a wonderful man and a great actor. We shared the stage on many occasions over the last 20 years and we worked hard and played hard.

"He was a great character, we had brilliant laughs together and I will miss his company and his friendship."

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