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Home / News / Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender has died at the age of 77

Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender has died at the age of 77

Ian Lavender, best known for playing Private Pike in classic BBC comedy Dad’s Army, has died at the age of 77.

Lavender was the last surviving cast member of the series following the death of Frank Williams in 2022. He died on Friday morning, his agent confirmed to the PA news agency.

In 1968, aged just 22, Lavender was cast as Private Frank Pike, the youngest member and “stupid boy” of the platoon in the much-loved BBC sitcom.

He appeared in the entire run of the series, and in the spin-off film released in 1971.

The Dad’s Army crew, with Ian Lavender second from left

He made a cameo appearance as Brigadier Pritchard in the 2016 Dad’s Army film, providing a link with the original series.

In 2001 Lavender joined the BBC soap opera EastEnders, playing the role of Derek Harkinson, a gay friend of Pauline Fowler. He continued in EastEnders for four years, with storylines mainly involving the Fowler family, before leaving in 2005.

He returned to Walford in 2016 but left in 2017 after he became ill with sepsis, having previously battled cancer and a heart attack.

The Birmingham-born Lavender grew up supporting Aston Villa. When filming began on Dad’s Army, he was allowed to choose Pike’s scarf from a selection in the BBC wardrobe.

He chose a claret and blue scarf, the colours of Aston Villa.

Ian Lavender in 2015 at The Oldie of the Year Awards

Pike, the youngest member of the Home Guard troop and a bank clerk, would often refer to Sergeant Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier) as Uncle Arthur, as he was in a relationship with his overprotective mother Mavis Pike (Janet Davies).

In 2018, Lavender cleared up a long-standing mystery from the show during an interview with the Radio Times.

When asking creator David Croft if Uncle Arthur was Pike’s father, Lavender said: “He looked at me and said, ‘Of course he is!’”

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