It Ain’t Half Hot Mum actor Windsor Davies dies aged 88

The TV star also had a chart-topping hit in 1975.
The TV star also had a chart-topping hit in 1975.

Tributes have been paid to It Ain’t Half Hot Mum actor Windsor Davies, who has died at the age of 88.

His daughter Jane said the comedy star, who topped the charts with Don Estelle in 1975, died peacefully on January 17.

She said in a statement: “His wife of 62 years, Eluned, passed away in September. They leave a large and very close family who will all remember them with love, laughter and gratitude.”

Windsor Davies death
Windsor Davies (top right) appearing in pantomime costume on the Christmas edition of Blankety Blank in 1980 (PA)

Actor Tony Robinson was among those paying tribute to the star, writing on Twitter: “‘Whispering grass don’t tell them who kissed there long ago. Why tell them all your secrets, the trees don’t have to know.’

“Whispering Grass. UK No1 with Don Estelle 1975. RIP Windsor Davies.”

Doctor Who screenwriter Mark Gatiss paid tribute with a quote from the late actor, which read: “Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.”

Davies appeared in the 1967 Doctor Who story, The Evil of the Daleks, as the character Toby.

Paddy McGuinness said Davies had been one of his childhood “faves”.

The comedian and new Top Gear presenter said he had “fond memories” of watching It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and Never The Twain as a boy.

Producer Jonathan Sothcott wrote: “Oh no! RIP that wonderful comedy actor Windsor Davies: unforgettable in 70s sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and the lead in 2 of the later Carry Ons.

“Impeccable comic timing. Just his voice made me smile. Thanks for all the laughs.”

His It Ain’t Half Hot Mum co-star Melvyn Hayes told BBC News: “I considered him my best friend, even though we hadn’t been in contact for many years.

“To work with him was a pleasure, a sheer delight because he was so generous in his work.

“You couldn’t buy him a drink because you’d go into a public house and they’d say ‘Windsor has put some money behind the counter for you’.

“He was nothing like the character he played – he was a charming, quietly-spoken, gentle human being.”

‘Allo ‘Allo star Vicki Michelle wrote on Twitter: “So so sad to hear about Windsor Davies, one of my favourite people. A Genuinely lovely generous man. Such fond memories of working with him. Had a huge presence and a huge heart. Will be missed by all who knew him.”

Actor James Dreyfus recalled working with Davies, describing him as a “true gentleman”.

Davies played Battery Sergeant-Major ‘Shut Up’ Williams from 1974 to 1981, and in 1975 had a number one hit with the novelty track Whispering Grass with his sitcom co-star, which was one of the biggest selling duets of all time on the UK charts.

He also appeared in the TV series Ring Out An Alibi, The New Statesman, Terrahawks and Never The Twain, as well as the films Carry On England and Carry On Behind.

His most recent credited appearance was in an episode of My Family in 2004.