Ian Pepperell from BBC drama The Archers dies aged 53

The star played the role of Roy Tucker in more than 400 episodes of the drama which has been broadcast since 1951.

He also starred in London-based soap EastEnders and made appearances in The Bill.

His sad passing, which follows on from a long illness, was remarked upon by The Archers editor Jeremy Howe, who said: “Ian was the perfect Archers actor – he loved being part of an ensemble, relished the camaraderie and gossip of the Green Room, and had a seemingly effortlessly fine tuned vocal technique.

Dudley News: The Archers has broadcast on the BBC since 1951.The Archers has broadcast on the BBC since 1951. (Image: Gary Moyes/BBC/PA Wire)

“Like all the very best radio actors he could think on his feet and change the way he played a scene in the blink of an eye.”

According to the Metro, he added: “Thanks to Ian’s brilliance, he created in Roy a character who managed to face in two directions simultaneously in almost every scene he played.

“He captured Roy as both genial and anxious, funny and sad, easy-going and permanently stressed – a man who could hold down with ease a top job, yet who always carried with him Hamlet’s sense of failure.

“It all made perfect sense because of Ian’s uncanny and laser-guided ability to find humour in the emotional scenes, and find pathos in the comedy that he always played so unerringly well.

“Ian had a lot more gas in the tank and was desperate to return to Ambridge once his health permitted.

“It is tragic that he died in his prime, we will miss him dearly and our hearts go out to his family and friends and everyone who knew him. Ambridge loved Roy – The Archers and our millions of listeners loved Ian’s Roy Tucker.”

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