The death of Bill Owen came as a shock to all those who had come to know him as Compo, the lovable scruff in the BBC series 'Last of the Summer Wine'.
But with barely a week to grieve, Bill's son - Tom Owen received an offer he could not refuse from the series' producer and director Alan Bell - the role of Compo's son.
"I thought about it for about three seconds!" he said. "Few actors aged 50 are offered such an amazing opportunity, so I ignored any reservations that I might have had and went for it."
The new character was also to be called Tom, which came as quite a surprise. "This was obviously our writer's, Roy Clarke's decision." He said. "But I do think it's a good way of keeping the link going between my father and I."
Compo Simmonite had probably become the most famous Yorkshireman, and so would be a very hard act to follow.
"Just like my Dad, I've been an actor throughout my life but despite my experience in the profession, nothing could prepare me for this new role," said Tom.
"It was only as I was about to walk on set for the first time that the enormity of the task in hand hit me. How could I step onto Dad's patch; what would established actors like Peter Sallis and Thora Hird think of me and could I ever live up to the memory of my Dad?
"Not only was I replacing my father's definitive role as Compo by playing his son, but I was about to work on a world renowned comedy and be judged by a huge audience of die hard fans."
Bill had lost the battle to cancer of the pancreas with four episodes of what would be the 27th series yet to film. It would take two months of frantic rewriting to give Compo a fitting send-off and introduce a new character - Tom Simmonite.
"I only went to Holmfirth twice during the 27 years that my father worked on 'Last of the Summer Wine'. Once was to stay overnight with him just after the series had started and the other was when I appeared (briefly) in an episode about eleven years ago.
"I suppose the hardest thing for me is just following on from my father. He had established himself in West Yorkshire not only as playing Compo but also as himself. He involved himself very much in the local community, which I have also tried to do. " He said.
All this is a long way from Tom's beginnings in the theatre. "I had my first job in the professional theatre in April 1966 at Leatherhead Theatre, Surrey, as an assistant stage manager earning £1.00 per week.
"I was no good at sport or academia but knew that I had a certain talent as a performer. I never wanted an 'ordinary' job."
Tom is now filming his first full series and is in no doubt about his favourite things about filming in our little corner of Yorkshire. "The people and the countryside."
And who can argue with that?