Doctor Who and Dad’s Army actor fronts new charity campaign Brighton News

Richard Tate, who lives in Bexhill, will appear on screens from Boxing Day onwards.

The actor, 83, who has starred as Wilder in Doctor Who and shared the role of Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army, will be calling for viewers to give gifts in wills to the charity Leukaemia UK.

The Argus: Richard as Lance Corporal Jones in Dad's ArmyRichard as Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army (Image: Leukaemia UK)

The cause is close to his heart after he survived leukaemia in his 60s, in part thanks to the charity’s research.

In June 2000, Richard, who has also been in Coronation Street, was starring in an adaptation of a children’s book at the Oxford Playhouse when he began feeling unwell.  

“I started getting night sweats, and feeling incredibly tired,” Richard said. “At the end of every performance I’d just go back home and get straight into bed – I didn’t want to eat or do anything.

“By July, I went to my GP for a blood test, to see what was going on. Alarm bells started ringing when she called and asked me to come back in.”

Richard, who was born in Liverpool, immediately went back to the GP surgery – where he was given the shocking news that his blood test results signalled leukaemia.  

He said: “I was so shocked and drained. The word leukaemia – it just had a terrifying effect on me.

“Back then it was always mentioned in films, books or TV shows but it never had a happy ending.”

Today, Richard is cancer free and in good health.

“I have regular maintenance – regular blood tests, but it’s been smooth sailing ever since,” said Richard.  

The Argus: Richard and his wife Wendy live in BexhillRichard and his wife Wendy live in Bexhill (Image: Leukaemia UK)

The support from his family was a balm to Richard during some of the darkest moments of diagnosis and treatment – including the unconditional love of his wife, Wendy, who he met at art college in Liverpool in September 1961. 

 “I have two daughters and a son, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren,’ said Richard. ‘They were all incredibly supportive and helped soften the blow.”

“When my agent asked if I’d be interested in appearing in an advert for Leukaemia UK, I said of course, said Richard.

“It was a great experience, and it feels good to give back.”

For those interested, you can learn more about leaving a gift in your will at:

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This notice was published: 2023-12-26 18:00:00

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