The actor was best known for his role of Tinker Dill in ‘Lovejoy’
Actor Dudley Sutton, who was best known for his role as Tinker Dill in TV series Lovejoy has died, aged 85.
Sutton’s agent confirmed he died peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.
The star was best known for his role in the BBC comedy drama Lovejoy, which ran from 1986 to 1994.
Starring opposite Ian McShane’s rogue antiques dealer, Sutton played Lovejoy’s friend in the hit series.
Speaking about the series in 2017, Sutton said: “It’s what they’re going to say on my obituary when I die, regardless of all the different and diverse stuff I’ve done throughout my life.
“It’s good fun because Lovejoy is so popular throughout the world, wherever you go. But people recognise Tinker, they don’t recognise Dudley Sutton.”
The star went on to a role in Emmerdale, where he played William Makepeace – the grandfather of Seb Makepeace, who is the ex-boyfriend of Ruby Haswell.
He also played roles in a Christmas special of Porridge and in the TV drama The Sweeney.
Earlier this year, Sutton praised the staff in Royal Trinity Hospice – an NHS-run facility where he said he was, “being cared for beautifully.”
His family released a statement saying: “Today we’re devastated by the loss of our beautiful Dudley, who leaves a gaping hole in all our lives.
“We’re grateful for the love expressed by friends and fans everywhere and for the extraordinary care he received at the [hospice], where he went out fighting for our NHS.”
Celebrities including The Inbetweeners’ Emily Atack, who starred with Sutton in 2011 comedy Outside Bet, have paid tribute.
Atack said on Instagram: “So sad to hear Dudley Sutton has passed. Such a hilarious warm, talented man who I’m so honoured to have worked with.
“Sending love to his family who he spoke of always.”
Fellow Lovejoy actor, Chris Jury, said: “My dear, dear pal Dudley Sutton died today. I loved him dearly. Condolences to Fanny, Peter, Barnaby, Wally and Jacqueline and all the rest of his family… Love you Duds.”
Gary Kemp wrote: “Farewell Dudley Sutton. One of our greats and a charming man.”