Actor Bernard gobsmacked

Date published: 13 June 2011

ACTOR Bernard Cribbins said he was “gobsmacked” to be awarded an OBE.

The 83-year-old has, over the years, been variously known as an actor, chart star, Doctor Who sidekick and voice of The Wombles. The Oldham-born entertainer was rewarded for his services to drama and said he had never anticipated being recognised.

“You can’t go through life expecting to get prizes. You just get on with things, which is how it should be,” he said. “It’s a great surprise. I’m completely gobsmacked really. My dad would have been absolutely delighted.”

Mr Cribbins was an apprentice in Oldham’s repertory theatre, later moving on to West End stage roles and numerous British comedy films. But he will long be remembered for his timeless role as Perks the station master in the film adaptation of The Railway Children.

He has featured more recently as Wilfred Mott, companion to David Tennant in Doctor Who. His role came 40 years after he was cast in Doctor Who movie Daleks — Invasion Earth: 2150 AD.

Mr Cribbins was a regular narrator of long–running BBC children’s story series Jackanory, and voiced characters in The Wombles TV series, as well as Buzby from a popular series of adverts for the Post Office. He also had a short–lived chart career in the early 1960s with hits such as Right Said Fred and Hole In The Ground.

Test-tube baby pioneer knighted

Professor Robert Edwards, the test-tube baby pioneer who worked with the late Oldham hospital consultant Patrick Steptoe, has been awarded a knighthood.

After years of painstaking research at Cambridge University, and at the former Dr Kershaw’s Cottage Hospital in Royton, the pair successfully fertilised a human egg outside the body in the 1970s.

That led to the birth of the world’s first test tube baby Louise Brown, born at the then Oldham and District General Hospital, now the Royal Oldham, on July 25, 1978.

Making his Mark

Former Oldham Council assistant chief executive, Mark Sanders (pictured), receives an OBE.

In 2001 he became Bury’s chief executive, after four years in Oldham.

Married with two children, he lives in Huddersfield.

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