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On The Buses actor Stephen Lewis dies aged 88

Published 13/08/2015

Actor Stephen Lewis, as Blakey from On The Buses
Actor Stephen Lewis, as Blakey from On The Buses

Actor Stephen Lewis, known for his role in sitcom On The Buses, has died aged 88, his family said.

The "funny man" died peacefully at 1.50am on Wednesday in the Cambridge Nursing Home, in Wanstead, east London.

Lewis, born in Poplar, also in east London, played Inspector Cyril "Blakey" Blake in On the Buses, and also starred in Last of the Summer Wine.

His nephew, Peter Lewis, told the Press Association: "He had terrible arthritis in one knee which really badly affected him, and many years ago he had prostate cancer - and whether that had come back we don't know."

He said his uncle's health had gradually declined over the past few years, but said he died "quite peacefully".

Mr Lewis's daughter Rebecca said her great uncle was "in high spirits" right until the end, adding that he had been in the care home for around three years.

"He was always singing and joking," she said, adding: ""We just want people to remember him."

Mr Lewis said his 84-year-old mother Connie - Stephen's sister - was in the same care home, having moved in at the same time.

"They looked after each other," he said.

Mr Lewis added: "I'll remember him as being a funny man."

Rashid Ebrahimkhan, manager of Cambridge Nursing Home, said: "He was still quite funny.

"He still had his sense of humour, very much so, like he was on On The Buses.

"He had the sense of humour until the last."

He said Lewis would still deliver his famous lines from On The Buses - "I'll get you for this Butler" and "Get these buses out Butler".

Mr Ebrahimkhan added: "He was very resilient until the last."

Lewis's funeral will take place on Tuesday August 25 at Our Lady Of Lourdes Church in Wanstead, east London.

Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp wrote on Twitter: "RIP Stephen Lewis ... So pleased we worked together on The Krays. My thoughts are with your family and friends!"

Gary Kemp tweeted that Lewis was "a big part of my childhood and a gentleman to work with".

Paddy McGuinness tweeted: "Gutted to hear Stephen Lewis has sadly passed away. Another piece of my childhood telly gone."

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