British actor Ian Lavender has paid tribute to his 'Dad's Army' co-star Clive Dunn following his death on Wednesday, revealing his friend mentored him as a youngster and always made him smile.
Dunn passed away in Portugal at the age of 92 after suffering complications following an operation earlier this week, and Lavender has only fond memories of his pal, who he starred alongside in the classic BBC sitcom.
He tells ITV News, "Obviously, (I feel) great sadness, but you can't be too sad at 92, it's a good age 92. But I don't want any friend to go. You start thinking abut what fun we had, and just what a lovely guy he was. When we started out I was 21, just about 22, and he was 47 and because he was so close to me in age compared to everybody else I tried to make him my playmate!
Left to right Arnold Ridley (Private Godfrey), Clive Dunn (Corporal Jones), Arthur Lowe (Captain Mainwaring), Ian Lavender (Private Pike), John Laurie (Private Frazer) and John Le Mesurier (Sergeant Wilson) during an episode of 'Dad's Army'
"He looked after me quite a lot as a youngster and would get me to do things that I don't think anybody else might get me to do. He suggested it would be a good idea for me to join him doing cabaret in a working men's club... and it seemed a perfectly good idea, and so I did, and we had great fun.
"One thing always stands out... Clive would always make you smile, no matter how you were feeling... a hug, and a little look and a quip about something."
Singer/actor Martin Kemp has also added his tribute on Twitter.com, writing, "RIP clive Dunn....Thank you for so many laughs when I was a kid!", while actor Tom Ellis adds, "RIP Clive Dunn...a huge part of my tv watching as a kid...incredibly funny actor."