Little Britain star Matt Lucas has lead tributes following the death of Minder actor Dennis Waterman.
The 74-year-old was perhaps best known for playing bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder but was much-loved in other series including The Sweeney and New Tricks.
His passing was announced by his family who said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis, passed away very peacefully in hospital in Spain, on Sunday afternoon, with Pam by his side.
“The family kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
Tributes to Dennis Waterman
Waterman became well-known for singing the theme songs to many of his shows, and was caricatured by David Walliams in Little Britain as a result.
Leading the tributes, Little Britain co-star Matt Lucas said: “I grew up watching Dennis Waterman’s iconic performances in The Sweeney and Minder.
“His guest appearance in our Little Britain Live show at Hammersmith Apollo – in which he hilariously duetted with David’s absurd impersonation of him – remains the absolute highlight of my career.
I grew up watching Dennis Waterman’s iconic performances in The Sweeney and Minder. His guest appearance in our Little Britain Live show at Hammersmith Apollo – in which he hilariously duetted with David’s absurd impersonation of him – remains the absolute highlight of my career. pic.twitter.com/RsTrABh5Br
— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) May 8, 2022
Broadcaster Kay Burley has paid tribute to the “brilliant actor” Dennis Waterman, who has died aged 74.
She wrote in a tweet: “RIP Dennis Waterman.
“A brilliant actor who was a staple on our screens throughout the 70s and 80s. Loved The Sweeney. Loved Minder more. He was 74.
“My apologies for using the incorrect first name for Dennis in a previous tweet which I have deleted,” she added.
Jonathan Sothcott, who refers to himself as “A Film producer behind a whole new generation of on-screen hardmen” has also spoken fondly of Waterman, saying: “Dennis Waterman was one of our biggest TV stars throughout the 70s and 80s, an everyman figure who felt like one of us.
“A naturalistic, nuanced actor. Terrific in The Sweeney, unforgettable in Minder (helluva song too, lampoonery aside). They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”
Broadcaster and presenter, India Willoughby, said: “Sad to hear the news about Dennis Waterman.
“Fifty per cent of one of the greatest double acts in tv history.
“Writer and performer of one of the greatest theme songs.”
Stuart Anthony, better known as Shifter in Cockney and Scouse, shared the sentiments of many Waterman fans when he said: “Dennis Waterman has left us. What a fantastic talent and lovely man. Such a loss to the industry. RIP”