Dad's Army star Ian Lavender dies, aged 77

5 February 2024, 13:29 | Updated: 5 February 2024, 13:32

Oan Lavender in a scene from Dad's Army, June 1975.
Oan Lavender in a scene from Dad's Army, June 1975. Picture: Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images

The actor, who played Private Pike in the classic sitcom, was the last surviving main cast member of the classic series.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...
Radio X

By Radio X

Ian Lavender has died at the age of 77.

The actor was best known for his role as Private Pike in the classic sitcom Dad's Army and was the last surviving cast member of the series following the death of Frank Williams in 2022.

Lavender passed away on Friday (2nd February) and the Dad's Army Radio Show announced on his passing on Monday afternoon.

A statement posted to X/Twitter read: "We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of the wonderful, Ian Lavender. In what truly marks the end of an era, Ian was the last surviving member of the Dad’s Army main cast. His wonderful performance as Private Frank Pike will live on for decades to come."

Lavender's character featured in the most memorable scene from the sitcom, the classic "Don't tell him Pike!" clip.

Don't tell him, Pike! - Dad's Army 50th Anniversary

The actor - who is survived by his wife Miki Hardy but was initially married to actress Suzanne Kerchiss - was just 22 years old when he was given the role of Private Pike and starred in all 80 episodes alongside the likes of Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn, and John Le Mesurier in the series that followed a group of elderly Home Guard local defence volunteers at the outbreak of World War II. The series ran from July 1968 to November 1977.

The cast Dad's Army: Clive Dunn, James Beck, John Le Mesurier, Arthur Lowe, John Laurie, Ian Lavender and Arnold Ridley.
The cast Dad's Army: Clive Dunn, James Beck, John Le Mesurier, Arthur Lowe, John Laurie, Ian Lavender and Arnold Ridley. Picture: Alamy

The statement added: "He leaves behind a legacy of laughter enjoyed by millions. We will dedicate this year’s tour to his memory.

Our thoughts and love are with Ian’s wonderful wife Miki, their family and close friends."

Ian went on to star as Bertrand Hepplewhite in Parsley Sidings and made guest appearances in Yes Minister, Keeping Up Appearances and Goodnight Sweetheart throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

From 2001 until 2005, he played Derek Harkinson on BBC soap opera EastEnders and reprised the role over the festive period in 2016 in what became his final television role.

TRENDING ON RADIO X

Heading out on tour in '24: Kasabian, The Last Dinner Party and The Libertines

The biggest gigs and tours to come in 2024

Back with a new album for 2024: Liam Gallagher & John Squire; Vampire Weekend and The Snuts

The most anticipated new albums for 2024

The likes of The Killers, Madonna and Coldplay are part of the Glastonbury conversation

Glastonbury 2024: headliners, line-up, rumours and secret sets