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Ian Lavender, who played Private Frank Pike in classic comedy series Dad’s Army, has died at the age of 77.
The Birmingham-born actor, who was the last remaining main cast member from the wartime-set BBC show, died on Friday morning, his agent confirmed to the PA news agency.
He is best known for playing the hapless Pike, who frequently had run-ins with Captain George Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe), calling him “Stupid Boy”, and who was looked after by Sergeant Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier).
Pike, the youngest member of the Home Guard troop and a bank clerk, would often refer to Wilson as Uncle Arthur as he was in a relationship with his overprotective mother Mavis Pike (Janet Davies).
Lavender also played Derek Harkinson, a gay friend of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard) in BBC One soap EastEnders from 2001 to 2005.
He returned to Walford in 2016 but left in 2017 after he became ill with sepsis, having previously battled cancer and a heart attack.
In the 1970s, Dad’s Army regularly attracted more than 18 million viewers, becoming one of the most-watched television programmes of its time.
Royal Mail marked the 50th anniversary of the TV comedy classic Dad’s Army with a collection of stamps in 2018, featuring the main characters.
That same year, Lavender cleared up a long-standing mystery from the show during an interview with the Radio Times.
When asking creator David Croft if Uncle Arthur was Pike’s father, Lavender said: “He looked at me and said, ‘Of course he is!’”
Published: by Radio NewsHub