'Yes Minister' and 'Heartbeat' star Derek Fowlds dies at 82

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Derek Fowlds at the Millennium Dome, south London (Michael Crabtree - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Yes Minister and Heartbeat star Derek Fowlds has died at the age of 82.

The actor died at Royal United Hospitals Bath in the early hours of Friday morning, surrounded by his family.

He had been suffering from pneumonia that led to heart failure caused by sepsis.

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The actor’s personal assistant Helen Bennett 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.”

Derek Fowlds, Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington in Yes, Minister. (BBC/PA Wire)

Fowlds’s first professional acting job was appearing in weekly rep at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Colwyn Bay in 1958, while on summer holiday from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

He later became well-known to children as Mr Derek on The Basil Brush Show.

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Other TV credits included Firm Friends and Affairs Of The Heart, but he was best known for playing Private Secretary Bernard Woolley in Yes Minister, which he starred in opposite Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington from 1980 to 1984.

In 1986, Fowlds reprised the role in the sequel Yes, Prime Minister, which ran until 1988.

The cast of Heartbeat (Fiona Hanson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

The actor also starred as Oscar Blaketon in the long-running police drama Heartbeat, appearing in all 18 series.

Fowlds was married twice – to Wendy Tory and Blue Peter presenter Lesley Judd - and has two sons, Jamie and Jeremy.