Stunning and heartbreaking news of another tragic and premature loss to the entertainment world today as it has been revealed that Warren Clarke, one of my favourite actors, has died following a short illness at the age of 67.
A great northern actor, Oldham born Clarke was perhaps most famous for his definitive role as gruff copper Andy Dalziel in Dalziel and Pascoe, the celebrated TV adaptations of Reginald Hill's crime novels. I spent a few summer nights this year rewatching the first couple of series of that drama; Clarke created something truly wonderful in that role and easily stole each and every episode.
It's hard to single out any one performance though from a man who made anything he appeared in must watch TV (yes, even creaky family sitcom In With The Flynns!) but I will always have a soft spot for the sadly somewhat forgotten two part drama Sleepers in which he starred as a KGB agent undercover as a working class northerner reawakened at the end of the Cold War opposite his comrade Nigel Havers, who masqueraded as a Yuppie.
He was also famous for film roles in the likes of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, the football hooligan drama I.D and Channel 4's assured Red Riding trilogy.
RIP to a true working class hero.