Celebrities including Matt Lucas and Paddy McGuinness are leading the tributes to legendary actor Dennis Waterman, whose death was announced today.
A statement confirmed that the Minder and New Tricks star died aged 74 on Sunday, with wife Pam by his side.
The family have asked for privacy as their grieve, revealing that the ‘beloved’ star ‘passed away very peacefully in hospital in Spain.’
Sharing their fond memories of the actor and reflecting on his career, fellow entertainment icons are remembering the ‘icon’, who was part of their lives growing up.
Take Me Out host McGuinness shared a picture of character Terry McCann, writing that he always wanted to be him as a child.
In a tweet, he wrote: ‘Myself and my Phoenix Nights cast mates used to sing the theme tune to Minder on tour and on the Karaoke! Gutted I never got to meet him, always wanted to be Terry McCann. Another icon from my childhood gone. RIP Dennis Waterman.’
Meanwhile, Little Britain comic Lucas shared: ‘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.’
Also paying tribute is Nick Knowles, with the DIY SOS presenter reminiscing about a charity golf trip he took alongside Waterman.
Knowles tweeted: ‘I played golf on a tour to Bermuda with Dennis Waterman – I’m not much of a golfer – he was – but it was time spent with him between rounds that were well worth the trip. A genuinely lovely guy. RIP.’
Broadcaster Kay Burley honoured the ‘brilliant actor’ following the heartbreaking news of his death, saying he was ‘a staple on our screens throughout the 70s and 80s.’
She added that her favourite project of his Minder, but she also ‘loved’ The Sweeney, can ITV police drama in which Waterman played Detective Sergeant George Carter, opposite John Thaw.
Actor and writer Reece Shearsmith offered his condolences with a sweet post about his brew-making skills.
‘When I worked with him on ‘New Tricks’ he made me the best cups of tea,’ he wrote.
‘And of course I just spent the time grilling him about Scars of Dracula,’ he added, in reference to a 1970 British horror film in which Waterman portrayed Simon Carlson.
Waterman’s career spanned across 60 years and also included projects such as ITV’s Where The Heart Is, The Canterbury Tales and Moses Jones.
However, arguably his most famous roles include that of bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder, as well as his long-running character as Gerry Standing in New Tricks from 2003 to 2015.
Waterman was known for singing the iconic theme tunes for both New Tricks and Minder.
His most recent film was released in 2020, joining a collection of 29 movies he made in total.
Announcing the sad news of his death, an official statement read: ‘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.’
As well as wife Pam Flint – whom he married in 2011 – Waterman leaves behind two daughters, one of whom is actress Hannah Waterman, known for playing Laura Beale in EastEnders.