The Archers star Edward Kelsey dies aged 88
Edward Kelsey, star of popular radio soap The Archers, has died aged 88.
The actor, who played Joe Grundy on the long-running BBC Radio 4 show, enjoyed a long career in entertainment, which included roles in stage and screen productions.
He appeared in Doctor Who, The Avengers, The Vicar Of Dibley, Casualty and EastEnders over the course of his career, which began in 1958.
In addition to his part in The Archers, which he took on in 1985, he also lent his voice to animated series Danger Mouse and the feature-length Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit.
His family said the Hampshire-born actor, known as Ted, would be remembered for his “insatiably curious mind” and love of “lively conversation, good company and a great storyline”.
In a statement, they added: “Ted counted himself immensely lucky that he was able to enjoy a long and varied career doing the thing that he loved, entertaining an audience, and fortunate indeed to have met and worked with so many talented, generous, creative people along the way.
“He embodied the principle that the show must always go on – his chief concern through increasing ill health the need to convince medical staff he was fit enough to record with his ‘extended family’ in Birmingham.
“He had an insatiably curious mind and never lost his appetite for lively conversation, good company and, of course, a great storyline.”
Jeremy Howe, editor of The Archers, said his contribution to the show was “one of the great performances in the history of British radio” – describing him as “wonderfully funny”.
He said his death, which came on Tuesday, was a huge loss, adding: “Ted’s Joe Grundy was a brilliant creation because Ted was a brilliant actor – and a truly lovely man and great company member.
“A cherished part of our team, I am sure all of us will agree that working with Ted was a rare privilege and he will be very much missed.”