Graham Blockey, star of BBC Radio 4’s soap opera ‘ The Archers ‘ has passed away aged 79.
The actor – who was also a real-life doctor – had played handyman Robert Snell since 1986.
Remarkably, however, it wasn’t until 2017, that the star revealed to his GP surgery details of his ‘secret’ radio career.
A statement on the Archers’ Twitter account read: “Today we remember our friend and colleague Graham Blockey following the sad news of his death. Editor Jeremy Howe says “Graham’s Robert Snell was a brilliant creation and a delicious one off. Graham was a complete joy to work with, and we will miss him very much.”
Fans were quick to pass on their condolences, meanwhile, with one replying: “How very sad to hear. I was at drama school with Graham and a sweeter man you could not meet. RIP.”
Another commented: “Very sad. Robert Snell was a much loved character with a glorious voice. My thoughts are with Graham’s family.”
A third wrote: “This is such sad news. Graham was a lovely man. And his Robert Snell was an acting masterpiece. Such a hard role and he just made it his own in such a subtle and nuanced way. Oh my, we’ll miss him.”
And a fourth said: “Dreadfully sad news, his character Robert Snell was much loved amongst #TheArchers community. No longer will we hear him talking fondly to his Lindy x.”
In a 2017 interview with Radio 4’s Today programme, Graham explained how he landed the role.
“Back in 1986 they wanted a new doctor, and some producer said, ‘Oh, I know an actor who is a doctor – let’s audition him.’
“I auditioned for that and they said, ‘No, no, no, your voice doesn’t sound like a doctor. But we’ve got this other part for you.'”