Lovejoy actor Dudley Sutton dies aged 85

The actor played tout Tinker Dell opposite Ian McShane’s roguish antique dealer

Actor Dudley Sutton, who was known for playing Tinker Dill in the TV series Lovejoy, has died aged 85, his agent has confirmed.

Dudley’s representative Natasha Stevenson told the Press Association that the actor died on Saturday afternoon surrounded by friends and family.

Dudley starred opposite Ian McShane in the comedy-drama mystery series throughout its run from 1986 to 1994.

Dudley’s character was a tout who was friends with the titular roguish antique dealer played by Ian McShane.

His other TV appearances included a special Christmas episode of BBC sitcom Porridge with Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale and an instalment of ITV crime drama The Sweeney.

In his later career he had a recurring role as conman Wilfred Atkins in BBC soap EastEnders, as well as smaller parts in Holby City and C4 teenage drama Skins.

Dudley was born in Surrey on April 6 1933. He served in the Royal Air Force as a mechanic before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from which he was later expelled.

Dudley’s big break came in 1964 film The Leather Boys in which he played a gay biker.

He later appeared in films such as The Devils (1971), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) and The Football Factory (2004).