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Catweazle star Geoffrey Bayldon dead at 93

Geoffrey Bayldon, who starred as in the British children's TV shows Catweazle and Worzel Gummidge, has died aged 93.

The Catweazle Fan Club said in a statement that he died peacefully at his home on Wednesday after battling respiratory problems.

"It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that we have to inform you of the passing of our beloved Geoffrey," it said.

The statement was shared by Carol Barnes, who worked closely with Mr Bayldon and co-ran the online organisation with its founder, Gary Bowers.

As well as playing the eccentric 11th-century wizard in the 1970s family show, he was also known for his role as The Crowman in Worzel Gummidge (1979-81) and for portraying TV's Magic Grandad (1993-94).

Catweazle and Worzel Gummidge were screened in Australia on ABC TV.

Born in 1924 in Leeds, Bayldon trained at the Old Vic Theatre School and appeared in several theatrical productions in his youth before moving into film and TV.

Before his children's TV roles, Bayldon appeared in several films including Casino Royale, a James Bond spoof based on Ian Fleming's debut 007 novel, as well as King Rat and To Sir, With Love.

The veteran actor will also be remembered for turning down the chance to be the time lord in Doctor Who two times.

He later appeared in the sci-fi series as an Organon in a 1979 episode titled "The Creature From The Pit" before going on to play an alternative version of the first Doctor in audio plays.

Bayldon is believed to have had one brother but no partner or children.

AAP

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