Ian Pepperell: Actor best known for playing Roy Tucker in The Archers dies

Ian Pepperell

Ian Pepperell, known for his role as Roy Tucker in The Archers, has died at the age of 53, the BBC has said.

The actor, who appeared in the BBC Radio 4 drama for more than 20 years, died on Friday after a long illness.

Pepperell also starred in EastEnders for a short stint in 1993, as well as on stage in several productions.

“Ian was the perfect Archers actor,” The Archers editor Jeremy Howe said. “It is tragic that he died in his prime, we will miss him dearly.”

Pepperell played long-suffering hotelier Roy Tucker for 22 years in the drama produced at the BBC’s studios in Birmingham.

Mr Howe said: “Ian had a lot more gas in the tank and was desperate to return to Ambridge once his health permitted…

“We will miss him dearly and our hearts go out to his family and friends and everyone who knew him. Ambridge loved Roy – The Archers and our millions of listeners loved Ian’s Roy Tucker.”

In his last conversation with Mr Howe, Pepperell said: “The Archers is my family.”

Reflecting on how he played the character, Mr Howe added: “He captured Roy as both genial and anxious, funny and sad, easy-going and permanently stressed – a man who could hold down with ease a top job, yet who always carried with him Hamlet’s sense of failure.”

BBC director of speech, Mohit Bakaya, paying tribute said: “Ian was a hugely talented actor who contributed greatly to The Archers and brought much pleasure to listeners on Radio 4 for over two decades.

“He will be missed greatly and we send our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved him.”

Pepperell played Hamlet for the Oxford Stage Company and Richard III at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester. He also appeared in ITV police drama The Bill.

Outside of acting, he ran pub The Star Inn in Ringwood, Hampshire.

In a statement on the pub’s Facebook page, https://tawkapinew.com it said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must tell you all, that Ian – left this world today – in peace, his way. As I, and all of the closest to him knew he would.”

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