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Tributes pour in following death of 'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye

'Allo 'Allo! actress Vicki Michelle has led the tributes to her co-star Gorden Kaye following his death, saying he was "an icon across the world".

The actor, who played cafe owner Rene Francois Artois in the show - set in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War, died on Monday aged 75.

Michelle, who played Rene's mistress and waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche, told ITV News: "He was such a creative actor.

"'Allo 'Allo! was wonderfully written, but he brought more to it. He had little nuances that he would do, and he was a perfectionist. I learned so much from him."

She continued: "He's an icon across the world, 80 countries, that's amazing. He'll be remembered worldwide, not just in Great Britain, but over the world."

The actress also paid tribute on Twitter, posting a photograph of the pair during their time on 'Allo 'Allo!.

"There'll never be another Rene," she said.

Nigel Farage was among those paying tribute, tweeting: "Sad to see the death of Gorden Kaye. Brilliant as Rene in the hilarious 'Allo! 'Allo!."

Actress Katy Manning said: "An honour to have worked with him . Such a superb comedy actor . Au revoir Gorden & Rene xx."

Celebrity astrologer Russell Grant said he was "sad" to hear the news, tweeting: "He was such a fine character actor and brought much joy to many."

As Rene, Kaye risked his neck to aid the resistance and stay out of trouble with the Nazis, with Carmen Silvera playing his wife Edith, Richard Gibson as Gestapo officer Herr Flick and Arthur Bostrom as Officer Crabtree - whose mangled vowels led him to adopt the greeting "Good moaning".

A frequent philanderer, Rene was a surprise attraction for the local women and had love affairs with a number of his waitresses.

A long-running joke had Rene hiding a painting, The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies, inside a garlic sausage.

Before landing his career-defining role, Kaye appeared in a number of shows including It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served? - and played Elsie Tanner's nephew Bernard Butler in Coronation Street from 1969 to 1970.

Kaye also starred in a successful stage version of 'Allo 'Allo! alongside the original cast, and later a new-look line-up, which frequently toured in the UK and internationally.

In 1990, he nearly died in a freak accident which left him with severe head injuries when a wooden advertising hoarding blew through his car windscreen during a storm in London.

Kaye had a five-and-a-half hour emergency brain operation following the incident and said: "I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

He was nearly injured in another bizarre incident in 1997 when starring in Travels With My Aunt at the Oxford Playhouse after a heap of suitcases toppled over, just missing him and the other cast members.

In 2007, he was in a one-off documentary exploring the history of 'Allo 'Allo!, featuring clips from the original series, a cast reunion and brand new scenes written by co-creator Jeremy Lloyd.

The comeback saw Rene back in his cafe writing his war diaries, with a little help from Yvette and some of the establishment's characters.

The BBC paid tribute to the "terrific comic actor".

Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning, said: "Gorden Kaye was a terrific comic actor whose signature role, Rene Artois, earned his place in the comedy hall of fame.

"He was instrumental in making 'Allo 'Allo such a long-running and well-loved series. His work lives on and thoughts are with friends and loved ones at this sad time."

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