Bernard Cribbins (December 29, 1928 – July 28, 2022) has very sadly passed away. His acting career spanned several decades. Bernard Cribbins was the narrator to the “Tufty” British public information films of the 1970s. And appeared in both Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD as police officer Tom Campbell as well as Doctor Who’s new series playing Donna Noble’s grandfather Wilfred Mott. Other non-Who-related work includes a record 114 Jackanory appearances as well as three Carry On films (Carry on Jack (1963), Carry on Spying (1964) and Carry on Columbus (1992). Additionally, Mr. Cribbins was the narrator of the British children’s television series The Wombles from 1973 to 1975. As well as recording the number 1 hit singles Hole in the Ground and Right Said Fred in February and July 1962.
It’s not hyperbolic to say that Bernard Cribbins was the soul and the conscience of modern Doctor Who. A World War 2 veteran, who was proud of his service and that he never killed a man, grounded the show in warmth and humanity. When the 10th Doctor told Wilf that he would be proud if Wilfred was his dad, he spoke for all of us.
Russell T. Davies, Doctor Who’s showrunner from 2005 to 2010, led the tributes to Bernard Cribbins yesterday. On Davies’ Instagram, he wrote:
On being awarded the OBE for his services to drama, Mr. Cribbins said “Gobsmacked! You can’t go through life expecting prizes. You just get on with things, which is how it should be.”
Bernard Cribbins’ advice was “Do your best and be grateful for every single job.” In his autobiography Bernard Who? 75 Years Of Doing Absolutely Everything.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Cribbins. Thank you for all that you have done.