The Archers: Arnold PetersActor Arnold Peters best known for his radio soap role in The Archers, as businessman Jack Woolley, has died aged 87. He is also well known for television roles including the 1990s Werther’s Original toffee commercial and appearances in telly soaps Crossroads, Doctors, United and Emmerdale.

The actor, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died at a nursing home in Northamptonshire on Saturday.

He joined the BBC Radio 4 saga in May 1980 and it became his best known role, reaching millions of listeners every week. June Spencer, who voiced his drama wife Peggy, paid tribute. (June and Arnold pictured below)

“He loved acting – it was his life,” she told the BBC, adding, “I picture him in the latter days in the green room with his stick and his cap, always very genial… He was very conscientious – he always turned in a good performance no matter what we were doing.”

The Archers - Arnold Peters and  June SpencerPeters, was last heard on The Archers in July 2011 when the storyline saw his character also face Alzheimer’s. It lead to the long running serial win a Mental Health Media Award.

The role of Jack wasn’t Arnold Peters first role in the soap, which launched in 195 nor was he the first to play Jack Woolley. Philip Garston-Jones originally played the part while Arnold had first arrived in 1953 as Len Thomas returning in 1968 as Rev David Latimer who last featured in 1973.

After serving in the RAF during World War II, Peters worked in theatre for a number of years before joining the BBC radio service on Children’s Hour. He continued to work on both radio, television and theatre throughout his career. Other notable television roles include in ATV police serial Hunter’s Walk, Thames Television drama London Belongs To Me and BBC period drama The Onedin Line.

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