Only Fools and Horses star Michael Jayston dies aged 88 as cause of death confirmed by family

Michael Jayston

Michael Jayston (second from left) opposite David Jason in A Bit of a Do

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 05/02/2024

- 13:31

Updated: 05/02/2024

- 13:40

The actor starred opposite David Jason in the BBC sitcom

Actor Michael Jayston has died at the age of 88, his agency has confirmed.

The star had a number of acting credits under his belt with appearances as the father of Tessa Peake-Jones' Raquel in BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses among his best-known roles.

He also starred opposite Del Boy legend David Jason in ITV comedy A Bit of a Do.

Also on his CV were roles in Emmerdale, The Bill, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Outside Edge, Jackanory and many more.

On X, formerly Twitter, M&M Famous Faces broke the news in a statement which read: "It is with great sadness, that I have been asked by his family to share the news, Michael Jayston sadly passed away this morning after a short illness.

"Those who knew Michael will know he was full of love, laughs and happiness.

Michael Jayston

Michael Jayston died at the age of 88


"His family would appreciate privacy at this time," the statement concluded.

Tributes from far and wide have flooded in, including one from Doctor Who actor Colin Baker who penned on X: "My dear dear friend, Michael Jayston has left us today.

"I am absolutely devastated. He was warm witty, clever naughty and a very fine actor & wonderful man. My thoughts and love go to his wife Ann and daughter Katie. Heartbroken Goodbye my friend."

Meanwhile, others shared their own messages of condolence, including one X user who penned: "Oh no! Just heard about the magnificent Michael Jayston. I shall need to listen to his perfect BBC Radio rendition of Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male again, just to settle myself. ‘The poets are wrong when they describe the grave as cold.’ #MichaelJaystonRIP."

A second echoed: "Very sad news about Michael Jayston. Many years ago we got to reunite him with Wanda Ventham to reminisce about UFO. It was a lovely day and he was a kind and good humoured man. I also got to geek out about meeting the Valeyard - which he was most amused by."

"Farewell, Michael Jayston. What a talent - and what a voice," a third weighed in.

And a fourth commented: "More sad news. A truly terrific actor, with one of most amazing & distinctive voices, has died aged 88. I adored him! RIP Michael Jayston." (sic)

News of Jayston's death came just hours after it was confirmed the last surviving member of the Dad's Army cast, Ian Lavender, had also died.

The actor, best known for playing Private Pike in the timeless sitcom, was 77.

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