Entertainment & Arts

Lance Percival, star of That Was The Week That Was, dies aged 81

Lance Percival
Image caption Lance Percival appeared in a number of BBC shows including The Mate Market

Actor Lance Percival, who found fame in classic satire show That Was The Week That Was, has died at the age of 81.

Among his notable film roles were Carry On Cruising, Postman's Knock and Darling Lili.

On TV, he appeared in the late '70s series Shoestring and Citizen James. He also provided the voice for both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in the 1960s cartoon The Beatles.

A notice in The Times said he died on 6 January in London after a long illness.

Born John Lancelot Blades Percival, his television career began performing satirical calypso songs on comedy shows including That Was The Week That Was.

He was later given his own series, The Lance Percival Show and Lance at Large, a 1964 sitcom which also featured Bernard Bresslaw, Gladys Bacon and Eric Barker.

His love of calypso music also saw him release a cover version of Shame and Scandal (in the Family), which reached number 37 in the UK charts in 1965.

Following on from voicing roles in The Beatles cartoon, he went on to be cast as Old Fred in the band's surreal Yellow Submarine animated film.

Image caption The Lance Percival Show ran in the mid-1960s

In the 1971 film version of Up Pompeii, which followed on from Frankie Howerd's TV series, Percival starred as Bilius. He also appeared in the sequels, Up the Chastity Belt and Up the Front, which moved the action to World War One.

Later roles included a stint in the short-lived 1989 BBC children's drama Bluebirds, which also starred Barbara Windsor and a young Martine McCutcheon.

His son Jamie told BBC News: "When he spoke about his showbiz life, he spoke fondly of his time on That Was the Week That Was, and he always loved Ned Sherrin, who discovered him performing at the Blue Angel Club.

"He was an amazing dad. He was involved in my life right up to the present day. He came to every rugby game I was in, and we watched sports together, and we held Ryder Cup parties.

"He was loved by all his family and will be very much missed."

Percival's funeral will be held on 20 January at Putney Vale Crematorium.

Image caption Lance Percival appeared with Barbara Windsor in children's show Bluebirds in 1989