Bernard Cribbins

Bernard Cribbins, The Wombles And Railway Children Star, Has Died Aged 93

today28 July 2022 2

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Veteran actor Bernard Cribbins, who narrated The Wombles and starred in the film adaptation of The Railway Children, has died at the age of 93.

In a statement, his agent said: “Beloved actor Bernard Cribbins OBE has passed away at the age of 93.

“His career spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like ‘The Railway Children’ and the ‘Carry On’ series, hit 60’s song ‘Right Said Fred’, a notorious guest on ‘Fawlty Towers’ and narrating ‘The Wombles’.

“He worked well into his 90’s, recently appearing in ‘Doctor Who’ and the CBeebies series “Old Jack’s Boat’. He lost his wife of 66 years, Gill, last year.

“Bernard’s contribution to British entertainment is without question. He was unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.”

Bernard Cribbins
Bernard Cribbins

Dave Hogan via Getty Images

Born in Oldham, Bernard was revered for his versatility and became a favourite with young audiences all over the country.

The actor’s first role was in 1956 in the TV series The Black Tulip before he found fame in several Carry On films, including Carry On Spying and Carry On Columbus.

Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins in a scene from the film The Railway Children, 1970. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins in a scene from the film The Railway Children, 1970. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

In 1970, he played Albert Perks in The Railway Children before becoming a a staple of children’s TV, when he narrated The Wombles and made over 100 appearances on the classic children’s TV show, Jackanory.

On The Wombles, he voiced the characters Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory and Orinoco.

Speaking at his OBE investiture ceremony in 2011, he said providing the voices for the classic 70s animated series was simple because of how The Wombles was written.

“The structure of the writing was such that you knew exactly where everybody was socially in that household,” he said.

Off-screen he enjoyed a successful musical career and had a number of hit records including 1962 comedy songs, Hole In The Ground and Right Said Fred, both of which reached the UK singles chart top 10.

More recently, he regularly appeared in Doctor Who as Wilf, the grandfather of the Doctor’s companion Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate.

He appeared alongside Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Palmer, Clive Swift and Russell Tovey in the Doctor Who episode Voyage Of The Damned, which was broadcast on Christmas Day in 2007 and saw 13.31 million viewers tuning in.

Recent reports said the actor had been spotted filming alongside Catherine Tate and David Tennant for Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary celebrations.


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today28 July 2022

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