The Archers and EastEnders actor Ian Pepperell dies aged 53

23 December 2023, 14:55

The Archers actor Ian Pepperell has died aged 53.
The Archers actor Ian Pepperell has died aged 53. Picture: PA

By Jenny Medlicott

Ian Pepperell who played Roy Tucker in the long-running soap has died aged 53, it has been announced.

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The star, who was most famous for his role in The Archers but also briefly featured in Eastenders, died on Friday following a long illness.

Pepperell also ran a pub called The Star Inn in the town of Ringwood with his wife Nikki in recent years.

In a post shared to Facebook on Friday, she wrote: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must tell you all, that Ian - left this world today - in peace, his way. As I, and all of the closest to him knew he would.

"To die, To sleep, To sleep, perchance to dream, ay, there's the rub.”

Jeremy Howe, editor of The Archers, hailed Pepperell’s “brilliance”, as he paid tribute to the actor.

He 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.

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"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.

"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."