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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Only Fools barman Mike dies
Only Fools
MacDonald (r) was famous for his Only Fools role
Actor Kenneth MacDonald, famous for playing Mike the landlord in BBC TV's Only Fools And Horses, has died aged 50.

MacDonald died from a heart attack on Sunday whilst on holiday in Hawaii with his family.

He had been taking a special family break to celebrate the birthdays of his wife and daughter.


It is like losing a member of the family, because he was one of the warmest, kindest people that I have had the good fortune to meet in my career

David Jason

MacDonald was also a familiar face as Gunner "Nobby" Clark in another favourite BBC sitcom, It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

In more recent years he also appeared in the Channel 4 soap Brookside.

On hearing of MacDonald's death, Only Fools And Horses star David Jason said: "It is a terrible shock.

"It is like losing a member of the family, because he was one of the warmest, kindest people that I have had the good fortune to meet in my career."

'Blow'

As Mike Fisher in Only Fools And Horses, MacDonald was last week voted runner-up in a poll to find TV's top pint-puller, beaten only by Coronation Street's Bet Lynch.

MacDonald began acting in the early 70s and went on to play roles in many TV comedies and dramas.

It Ain't Half Hot Mum
MacDonald (second in line) was a stalwart of It Ain't Half Hot Mum

These included Dad's Army, The Sins, David Copperfield, A Rather English Marriage, Tenko and Goodnight Sweetheart.

MacDonald also had a successful stage career, including roles in the Royal National Theatre's Guys And Dolls and West End hit My Night With Reg.

Geoffrey Perkins, BBC Head of Comedy, said: "This is a personal tragedy for Ken's family, but also a great sadness for the many fans of Only Fools And Horses.

"Kenneth bonded the cast together, both in performance and personally. He was a crucial team member in other BBC comedies such as his long-running role in It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

"We are making more episodes of Only Fools And Horses in the near future, and it is a blow that Ken will not now be part of that."

MacDonald's family are making arrangements to return his body to the UK for a quiet family funeral next week.

He leaves a wife, Sheila, and children Charlotte, 14, and William, 15.

See also:

08 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Only Fools And Horses 'to return'
08 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
In pictures: Only Fools And Horses
19 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Del Boy museum planned
07 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Doctor Who named cult favourite
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