Seymour: Michael Aldridge
The start of 1994 was tinged with sadness for dedicated Summer Wine fans as they mourned the death of much-loved actor Michael Aldridge, who played eccentric inventor and ex-headmaster Seymour Utterthwaite.
Michael joined the cast of Summer Wine for the 1985 Christmas Special, Uncle Of The Bride. This proved to be something of a landmark in the series' long history, introducing the viewers to several new characters.
Seymour, we discovered, had recently retired as the headmaster of a somewhat dubious small private school, and spent much of his time dabbling with inventions that never quite worked.
While his niece Glenda prepares for her wedding day, Seymour teams up with Compo and Clegg, who had been finding life rather dull and uneventful since Foggy's departure to paint eggs at Bridlington.
Married with three children, Michael listed his main interests as sailing and market gardening. Friends and colleagues also remember his passion for making delicious homemade bread and jam.
The son of a Somerset doctor, he was born in Glastonbury in September 1920 and was educated at Gresham's, Holt, where his interest in acting was first nurtured.
Shortly before his 19th birthday he made his debut in Rattigan's French without Tears. During the war he served with the RAF in Africa, the United States, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
In 1946 Michael returned to rep and four years later joined the famous Old Vic company, where he appeared in plays by Moliere and Shakespeare. He went on to take many leading classic roles with the Bristol old Vic and in the west end, with regular seasons at Stratford and appearances at the Chichester festival.
Much of his career was on the classical stage, playing comedy of manners, Greek tragedy, TS Eliot, Chekhov and Brecht with equal conviction. His many television roles included Rollo Aspen in the H E Bates serial Love For Lydia, and Farve in another popular series, Love In A Cold Climate.
Other credits include Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Charters And Caldicotes, in which he played the part of a Government official.
His obituary in The Times paid him the ultimate compliment: "If Aldridge joined the cast of a show, it invariably meant the injection of an extra dimension of dramatic interest, however modest his role in it. In everything he did, if never a big name, he was a professional to his fingertips."