Yes Minister star Derek Fowlds dies at the age of 82
Actor who played private secretary also starred in Heartbeat and with Basil Brush
Yes Minister: Derek Fowlds with Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington in the political sitcom. Photograph: BBC/PA
The Yes Minister star Derek Fowlds has died at the age of 82, his family has said.
The actor was best known for playing private secretary Bernard Woolley in the sitcom and its sequel, Yes Prime Minister, as well as for his role as Oscar Blaketon in the long-running police drama Heartbeat.
Before that he found fame with children as Mr Derek on The Basil Brush Show, alongside the glove-puppet fox with the catchphrase “boom boom!”, from 1969 to 1973, replacing Rodney Bewes as the presenter.
The actor died at Royal United Hospitals Bath in the early hours of Friday morning, after suffering from pneumonia that led to heart failure caused by sepsis. He was surrounded by his family when he died and is survived by his sons, Jamie and Jeremy.
Helen Bennett, his personal assistant and friend of many years, said: “He was the most beloved man to everybody who ever met him. He never had a bad word to say about anybody, and he was so well respected, adored by everyone. You couldn’t have met a nicer person ever. He was just a wonderful man, and I will miss him terribly.”
Fowlds’s first professional acting job was appearing in weekly rep at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Colwyn Bay, in north Wales, in 1958, while on summer holiday from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, in London.
He made his West End debut in The Miracle Worker before roles in films such as Tamahine, East of Sudan and Hotel Paradiso and TV series including Z Cars, The Liver Birds and ITV Sunday Night Theatre. He also appeared in After That, This for a string of episodes in 1975.
He wrote his autobiography, A Part Worth Playing, in 2015, and his most recent credited TV appearance was in Doctors, in 2017. – PA