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Tuesday, February 2, 1999 Published at 13:32 GMT


Doctor star Nedwell dies

Robin Nedwell at the height of the Doctor series' fame in 1975

Comedy actor Robin Nedwell has collapsed and died during a visit to a doctor's surgery near his home in Hedge End, near Southampton.

Nedwell, 52, starred in Doctor in the House, the ITV series about male medical students at the fictional St Swithin's Hospital.

He is thought to have suffered a heart attack on Monday morning while visiting St Luke's surgery for a check-up. Attempts were made to resuscitate him, but he was certified dead shortly afterwards at Southampton general hospital.

In the Doctor series, which ran on ITV from 1969 to 1977, he played Dr Duncan Waring, starring alongside George Layton, Geoffrey Davies and Ernest Clark. The show appeared under various guises such as Doctor In Charge and Doctor At Sea during its run, and was briefly revived by BBC One as Doctors on Top in 1991.

Preparing to make a comeback

Although he had not worked for two years, he was preparing to start filming on a new BBC children's series, S Club Seven.

His brother, Dr Jeremy Nedwell, said he had fallen from a ladder on Friday while working at his parents' home, where he had lived since the break-up of his marriage to PR agent Heather Inglis.

"He was repairing a roof and dropped five feet onto concrete - he may have suffered a mild stroke. We took him to casualty and he had a few stitches in a head wound, but the hospital were not totally happy with him," he said.

"Over the weekend he was in some discomfort and on Monday he went to his local doctor's surgery. While there he suffered a heart attack, and despite the efforts of the staff they could not revive him."

'Entertaining, considerate, and the greatest fun'

Humphrey Barclay, the controller of comedy at LWT and producer of the Doctor series, paid tribute to Nedwell.

"Robin appeared as medical student Duncan Waring in no less than 108 episodes of LWT's hugely popular Doctor series.

"I remember him bounding into the audition room in 1969, an ebullient drama student in a tweed jacket.

"His natural personality and sense of comedy were immediately apparent and we cast him on the spot.

"He was entertaining, considerate, and the greatest fun, with a huge laugh I can hear now. He will be as happily remembered as he will be very sadly missed."

As well as the Doctor series, Nedwell also starred in ITV's Cluedo series alongside Stephanie Beacham and June Whitfield in 1990, and in 1994 he toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company for two years.

He leaves a 15-year-old daughter, Amie.

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