The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Geoffrey Bayldon, star of Catweazle and Worzel Gummidge

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Catweazle actor Geoffrey Bayldon has died at the age of 93.

The owner of the Catweazle Fan Club, who was close to the British-born star, said he died peacefully at his home after battling respirator­y problems.

A statement released by the club said: “It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart, that we have to inform you of the passing of our beloved Geoffrey.

“At the age of 93 and after battling respirator­y problems of late, he passed away on the morning of May 10th.

“This is utterly heartbreak­ing ... it has been a great shock.

“I hope that all members of the fan club family will agree with us, that the legacy, love, skill and character of this lovely, witty, talented and generally charming man, must continue through our club.”

As well as playing the eccentric 11th Century wizard in the 1970s family show, he was also known for his role as the Crowman in Worzel Gummidge (1979-1981) and for portraying TV’s Magic Grandad (1993-1994).

Born in 1924 in Leeds, Bayldon trained at the Old Vic Theatre School and had roles in several theatrical production­s in his youth before moving into film and TV.

Prior to his memorable children’s TV roles, Bayldon appeared in several films including Casino Royale, a James Bond spoof based on Ian Fleming’s debut 007 novel, as well as King Rat and To Sir, With Love.

The veteran actor will also be remembered for turning down the chance to be the Time Lord in Doctor Who two times.

He later appeared in the sci-fi series as an Organon in a 1979 episode entitled the Creature From The Pit before going on to play an alternativ­e version of the first Doctor in audio plays.

In recent years, Bayldon appeared in TV shows including New Tricks, Casualty and My Family.

Author Stuart Manning, who interviewe­d Bayldon several years ago to write his behind-thescenes story, the Worzel Book, said he was “a grand old guy”.

 ?? Picture: Getty. ?? Geoffrey Bayldon as Catweazle.
Picture: Getty. Geoffrey Bayldon as Catweazle.

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