Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse, dies aged 86

Colin Dexter, who wrote the Inspector Morse books, has died at the age of 86.

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His publisher said in a statement : “With immense sadness, MacMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning.”

His series of 13 Morse novels, written between 1975 and 1999, were adapted for the long-running ITV series, which starred John Thaw.

Dexter’s characters also featured in spin-off shows Lewis and Endeavour.

Inspector Morse and Lewis star Kevin Whately described him as “impish and bubbly and always fascinated with everybody and everything”.

He told BBC Oxford: “I think I’m incredibly lucky to have had 30 years of his friendship. He would always turn up – he loved being on set with us, and we loved having him there. He was a very warm, benign presence always.”

Whately joked: “We used to give him a little role, give him the odd line to say, but he was so awful at speaking and acting that we only let him walk through the shot.”

Sheila Hancock, Thaw’s widow, said : “He did say to me a couple of times that he really did feel that John was the character and the character was John. It sort of evolved between them. In fact, I think one of the reasons he killed Morse off is he didn’t want to imagine anyone else playing the part.”

She described Dexter as a “remarkably well-read and clever man”, as well as a “bubbly guy” who “just seemed to enjoy life so much” and “loved to laugh”.

Hi-res images can be found on our website www.scopefeatures.com

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