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Archers actor Alan Devereux dies

Published 01/06/2016

Alan Devereux played Sid Perks in The Archers (BBC/PA)
Alan Devereux played Sid Perks in The Archers (BBC/PA)

Veteran Archers actor Alan Devereux, who played the role of Sid Perks for nearly 50 years, has died, the BBC has said.

The BBC Radio 4 soap opera's editor, Sean O'Connor, paid tribute to the actor on Tuesday, and said he possessed a voice of "genuine" authenticity.

Mr Devereux arrived on the airwaves on September 30 1963, as the teenage tearaway who would later become the landlord of The Bull pub. He played the role until the character's death in 2010.

Sid took his place behind the bar of The Bull in 1972 when he and his first wife Polly took over the running of the pub.

Mr O'Connor told the BBC Radio 4 website: "Alan's voice as Sid had a genuine sense of authenticity to it - instantly recognisable and full of rich character.

"As an actor Alan was adept at both intense drama as well as dead-pan comedy. He was a wonderful member of The Archers' family in Birmingham and will be deeply missed."

Former editor Vanessa Whitburn said: "Alan was a consummate and brilliant radio actor. Always a delight to work with.

"His versatility as publican Sid Perks meant that he created superb partnerships with the actresses who played all three of his wives. A modest man, I don't think he knew just how talented he was."

Mr Devereux died of "natural causes" on Sunday morning at the age of 75 after a short illness, the BBC added.

He is survived by his son and his daughter, Tracy Jane White, who played his on-air daughter Lucy for more than a decade in the show set in the fictional village of Ambridge.

Buffy Davis, who plays Jolene, starred alongside him in the headline-grabbing "sex in the shower" scene in 2000 before becoming the publican's third wife.

She told the BBC Radio 4 website: "Alan was a one-off, there was no one like him. He possessed a wicked sense of humour and was uniquely talented, I loved him.

"Standing next to him on the mic was a lesson in radio performance. He was completely dedicated to The Archers - and once that green light was on, he was Sid Perks."

Trevor Harrison, who plays farmer Eddie Grundy, added: "Alan was a lovely, sensitive man who I enjoyed working with immensely.

"I was privileged to know him both professionally and socially. He had a natural gift for acting and was very talented.

"He was a wonderful Sid Perks and will always be remembered as a part of Ambridge."

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