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Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn has died at the age of 78.

The actor was best known for playing bullish Councillor David Horton in every episode of the popular TV sitcom from 1994 to 2007.

"Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End and our living rooms on the telly.

"He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley and his son Josh.

"We will all miss him terribly," he said.

A statement from the BBC Comedy team said : "Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nations most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar Of Dibley.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

The Vicar of Dibley cast, pictured from left to right: John Bluthal, James Fleet, Dawn French, Emma Chambers, Gary Waldhorn, Roger Lloyd Pack and Trevor Peacock

His son, Josh Waldhorn, said he "peacefully passed away" at 6.45am on Monday.

Waldhorn appeared in classic British TV shows including The Sweeney, Brush Strokes and Hotel Babylon, and even featured in comedy sketch show French And Saunders.

He also provided voiceovers for adverts including for Green Flag, Kwik Fit, Branston and Marmite.

Meanwhile, Waldhorn's Vicar of Dibley co-star Dawn French tweeted a picture of the actor with an emoji of a broken heart.

Mr Waldhorn was an accomplished Shakespearean actor and had performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company including in Much Ado About Nothing.

His theatre roles included Good for the RSC in 1981, which went to Broadway, and Black Comedy alongside David Tennant in the West End in 1998.

He once recalled : "I liked acting as a child and I remember as a first-former in London we were given tickets to the Old Vic to see a Shakespeare play.

I saw Richard Burton play Henry V and my life changed.

i came home and said i wanted to be a shakespearean actor."

He most recently appeared in a Christmas special, The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown.

The actor Samuel West, who played Waldhorn's son in Henry IV, tweeted : "Sad news about Gary Waldhorn.

He played my dad, the eponymous king, in both parts of Henry IV at the Old Vic in 1997 … A lovely man and a terrific actor.

Mr Waldhorn as Councillor David Horton in the Vicar of Dibley, pictured with co-stars Emma Chambers and Dawn French

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