OBITUARY : Roger Hume

As man-of-the-earth Bert Fry in The Archers, radio's longest- running serial, Roger Hume was known to millions as Phil and Jill Archer's farmhand, often finding himself in conflict with other residents of Ambridge.

Born in London in 1940, the son of George Hume, a general manager of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the actor began his career as an assistant stage manager at Wimbledon Theatre, and had the same role in the original West End production of the hit musical Oliver! (1960), starring Ron Moody, at the New Theatre.

He also worked behind the scenes on the films Carry On Regardless (1961) and The Road to Hong Kong (1961, starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra), as well as being a flying-wire operator with the legendary Crazy Gang comedy team.

After three years in a teacher training college, Hume returned to the stage as an actor. He played leading roles with repertory companies across the country, small parts with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, and acted in the original London production of Teeth 'n' Smiles, and Edward Bond's The Fool, both at the Royal Court Theatre. He also appeared in a revival of Blithe Spirit, at the Vaudeville Theatre, and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, at the Queen's Theatre.

In 1979, Hume created the role of Herbert Pinnegar in his one-man play of Alfred Shaughnessy's Old Herbaceous, at Salisbury Playhouse, before repeating it at the Mayfair Theatre, in the West End. Such was the play's success that he later recorded it for television and radio, toured it in Britain, Australia, Zimbabwe and at the Charleston Festival in South Carolina, and performed it in front of the Queen at Windsor Castle. He also wrote and starred in the one-man shows Winston, a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill in old age, and Please Sir, a teacher's humorous viewpoint of school life.

On television, Hume acted in programmes such as Special Branch, Play for Today, Coronation Street, Edward and Mrs Simpson (as Humphrey Butler), Rumpole of the Bailey, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Fawlty Towers, The Bill and EastEnders. He was also in the films Something Like the Truth (1972, later retitled The Offence), Car Trouble (1985, starring Julie Walters and Ian Charleson) and A Fish Called Wanda (1988).

But it was as Bert Fry in The Archers since 1988 that he was best known. He had previously played two other roles in the serial - joining it in 1979 as John Tregorran, then taking the part of Sir Sidney Goodman, who was at one of Jack Woolley's shooting parties. He was last heard as Bert Fry on 14 August, when he and arch-rival Tom Forrest were locked in battle over the removal of bats from Ambridge's church.

Roger Hume, himself a Church of England lay preacher, acted in more than 200 other radio productions, including many plays, as well as providing voice-overs for documentaries and reading stories.

Roger Hume, actor: born London 19 November 1941; married (two sons); died Banbury, Oxfordshire 24 August 1996.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific