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Inspector Morse star Kevin Whately pays tribute to 'warm and friendly' Colin Dexter

The Inspector Morse author died aged 86.

The actor who starred as Inspector Morse’s sidekick Lewis has paid tribute to the detective’s “warm and friendly” creator, Colin Dexter, who has died aged 86.

Dexter was best known for writing the novels about the cerebral, crossword-loving, ale-drinking Inspector and for his work on the subsequent TV series and its two spin-offs.

Kevin Whately, who starred alongside John Thaw’s Inspector Morse in the TV original and as the lead in spin-off Lewis until 2015, said Dexter shared traits with the detective he created.

He told BBC Radio 4′s Front Row: “He was such a warm, friendly guy that when he arrived on set we all adored him and he had this wonderful inquiring mind and amazing alpha brain that Morse had of course.”

Inspector Morse was first introduced in 1975 in Dexter’s novel Last Bus To Woodstock and appeared in more than 10 other novels, as well as several short stories.

The author was known for making cameo appearances in the ITV drama series Morse, which starred Thaw in the title role across its 33-episode run between 1987 and 2000.

Kevin revealed the writer’s poor acting skills prevented him from playing a bigger on-screen part.

He said: “He liked being well known actually so appearing in films appealed to him.

“Early on we used to give him the odd line but he was such a terrible actor that after that he just appeared. He would walk through a shot or be seen just through behind it.

“But he was lovely to have on set because he was still involved very much with the Lewis show and the Morse show. He would pick holes in the plots and make sure they were watertight before we would shoot them,” he added.

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