Actor Dudley Sutton – AKA ‘Lovejoy’s’ Tinker – passes away aged 85 shortly after giving an interview lauding the NHS
The talented actor and regular at the Chelsea Arts Club, Dudley Sutton sadly died yesterday after a short battle with cancer.
Best known for playing Tinker Dill in the brilliant BBC comedy-drama series Lovejoy in 1986 and from 1991 to 1994, Sutton most recently took the lead role in a video for the Tom Chaplin song Midnight Mass and also appeared in everything from the first production of Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane in 1964 to Emmerdale and Eastenders.
Speaking about Lovejoy and himself in general in 2017, Sutton commented:
“It’s what they’re going to say on my obituary when I die, regardless of all the different and diverse stuff I’ve done throughout my life.”
“It’s good fun because Lovejoy is so popular throughout the world, wherever you go. But people recognise Tinker, they don’t recognise Dudley Sutton.”
In July, Sutton gave a video interview from his bed in the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham in which he spoke about the NHS. He spoke of how he was a Socialist and lauded doctors and nurses for “caring about people, caring about folk, caring about people who can’t look after themselves” and said: “Don’t let the NHS go. Don’t flog it away with all the rest of the rubbish… That’s all I’m saying.”
In a statement yesterday, Sutton’s family remarked:
“Today we’re devastated by the loss of our beautiful Dudley, who leaves a gaping hole in all our lives.”
“We’re grateful for the love expressed by friends and fans everywhere and for the extraordinary care he received at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London, where he went out fighting for our NHS.”
To those that encountered “this wonderfully disruptive cherub” at the Chelsea Arts Club and elsewhere, Dudley will be remembered for much more. This “neo-Wildean” actor and gent was charming, witty and fun and he added great colour to the lives of so many. May he rest in peace.