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The Vicar of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn has died aged 78.

Best known for playing Councillor David Horton in the much loved BBC sitcom, Gary's character often locked horns with Dawn French's eponymous vicar.

His heartbroken son Josh announced that the actor died on Monday, January 10, announcing in a statement: "Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End and our living rooms on the telly!

"He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley and his son Josh. We will all miss him terribly."

The BBC, meanwhile, offered a heartfelt statement for the late actor which read: "Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nations most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Classic comedy channel GOLD also paid tribute to the star, tweeting: "We are saddened by the news that Gary Waldhorn who played David Horton so brilliantly in The Vicar of Dibley has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Along with his iconic sitcom role, Gary also starred in everything from Robin Hood to Heartbeat.

His other most iconic roles came in Brush Strokes, starring as Lionel Bainbridge, and in Lovejoy as Detective Sergeant Pulver.

He also appeared alongside Dawn French in her show French and Saunders for two episodes between 1996 and 1998.

His last on-screen appearance came in 2013, when he appeared in a special episode of The Vicar of Dibley in aid of Comic Relief.

Heartbroken fans have already begun paying tribute to the late star, with one posting on Twitter: "Vicar of Dibley slowly turning into Dad's Army, only two of the regulars left now. Very sad news, he was a great actor."

"He was always one of the best on the show, hopefully he finds peace in the hereafter," someone else posted.

As a third fan said: "I used to love Brush Strokes, he was great in that. Very sad."

Another social media user followed up: "This is unexpected and very sad. It leaves only Dawn French and James Fleet from the regular cast now."

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  • BBC
  • Tributes
  • The Vicar of Dibley

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