High Hopes star Robert Blythe dies aged 71

Wednesday 21st November 2018, 3:11pm

  • Comic actor Robert Blythe has died aged 71
  • He played Fagin in the long-running BBC Wales sitcom High Hopes
  • BBC Wales notes he was “well-loved by cast and crew and will be sadly missed”

Comic actor Robert Blythe has died aged 71.

He is best remembered for playing Fagin in the long-running BBC Wales comedy High Hopes.

The sitcom, which started as a pilot in 1999, ran for six series. Blythe played Richard “Fagin” Hepplewhite, an agoraphobic petty criminal who lived with his elderly mother. He and his mum take in two young homeless men to their house, and the sitcom observes as Fagin trains them to be crooks.

Blythe, who was born in Port Talbot, also took a number of comedy roles on the radio, and stage.

Paul Forde from BBC Wales described him as “one of Wales’s finest comedy actors”, commenting “Over six series and numerous special episodes he continuously delighted audiences with his hilarious portrayal of Richard ‘Fagin’ Hepplewhite. He was always a consummate professional, well-loved by cast and crew and will be sadly missed.”

High Hopes writer Boyd Clack, who also co-starred in the show as Police Sargent Ball, tweeted: “So sad to hear of Bob Blythe passing on. He was a dear friend. We spent many an hour together. My love to all of his lovely family. I’ll miss you brother.”

Commenting further he said: “He had really loved working on High Hopes, said it was the best thing he’s done in his life, and he always appreciated being recognised in public for it. He’d starred in a lot. It was the thing he liked the most – but he was very different in reality to his character, had a very beautiful voice and he was very well read.”

The High Hopes cast reunited in 2015 to film a one-off special. That special, and most of the episodes from the six series, are currently available on BBC iPlayer


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