The career of Bernard Cribbins OBE spanned the steam age to the digital age, from the cloth backdrops and greasepaint of Oldham Repertory Theatre to the most streamed British science fiction programme throughout internet platforms.

Bernard Cribbins with his OBE in 2011
Bernard Cribbins in his early life
Bernard Cribbins in his early life

He remained until his death in 2022, the last of a generation of loved British entertainers who could do it all.

He served an apprenticeship at the Oldham Repertory Theatre, taking a break during his years of study to undertake National Service with the Parachute Regiment in Aldershot, Hampshire, including a posting to Mandatory Palestine.

He was the comic actor alongside Peter Sellers; he was as downright silly as Kenneth Williams; as suave as Leslie Phillips, as much of a clown as Tommy Cooper; he made comedy records, he made glorious crooner pop records alongside; film, television and theatre. He punched Basil Fawlty in the face; he was a foul-mouthed landlord for Alfred Hitchcock; he was husband to a philandering Helen Mirren for a BBC play; he sailed the high seas in Carry on Jack, he was a one-off double act with Barry Cryer for the Good Old Days; he was Dr Who’s assistant and the Doctor’s assistant’s grandfather, a scheming lothario in Coronation Street and he was the familiar voice for many generations of children, from his many children’s television performances, voiceovers, and storytelling; The Wombles, Jackanory and Old Jack’s Boat.