Archers and EastEnders actor Ian Pepperell dies at 53 | Ents & Arts News

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Ian Pepperell, best known for playing Roy Tucker in The Archers, has died aged 53, the BBC has announced.

The actor, who played the hotelier in the long-running BBC Radio 4 drama for 22 years, died on Friday following a long illness.

He also acted in numerous stage productions and appeared in BBC soap opera EastEnders for a short stint during his career.

The Archers editor Jeremy Howe said: “Ian was the perfect Archers actor – he loved being part of an ensemble, relished the camaraderie and gossip of the Green Room, and had a seemingly effortlessly fine tuned vocal technique.

Ian Pepperell. Pic: Gary Moyes/BBC
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Ian Pepperell is best known for playing Roy Tucker in The Archers. Pic: Gary Moyes/BBC

“Like all the very best radio actors he could think on his feet and change the way he played a scene in the blink of an eye.

“Thanks to Ian’s brilliance, he created in Roy a character who managed to face in two directions simultaneously in almost every scene he played.”

The character featured in a number of dramatic storylines within the show, including a New Year’s Eve episode in which Roy asked Hayley Jordan, played by Lucy Davis, to marry him.

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Mr Howe said: “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.

“It all made perfect sense because of Ian’s uncanny and laser-guided ability to find humour in the emotional scenes and find pathos in the comedy that he always played so unerringly well.

“Ian had a lot more gas in the tank and was desperate to return to Ambridge once his health permitted.

“It is tragic that he died in his prime, 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 the theatre world, he played Hamlet for the Oxford Stage Company and Richard III at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester.

The actor also appeared in a number of episodes of EastEnders in 1993 and featured in police drama The Bill.

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