AN ACCRINGTON actor has paid tribute to the late Norman Painting – one of the longest serving stars in the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers.
Mr Painting, who joined the show as farmer Phil Archer for the first pilot episode in 1950, died last Thursday of heart failure, aged 85.
Marc Finn, who played Greg Turner in the soap between 2000 and 2006, paid tribute to an ‘intelligent, thoughtful man’ and a ‘great actor’.
Marc, 57, of Manchester Road, Accrington, said: "It’s always a shock when a very well formed talent and nice man disappears; it becomes a loss to us all.
"When I joined the Archers I was very much the new boy. The Archers is just one huge family and you get taken under people’s wings. Norman did this effortlessly and made me feel part of a community he had been involved with for almost 50 years.
"Norman was always a great actor who helped me find my feet and help me to understand the strange place that is the town of Ambridge.
"I always found him a very pleasant man and he had lots of stories to tell. He knew lots about lots and I learnt masses and masses from watching him work.
"I’m certainly sorry he’s gone."
Marc said although there is no service planned in his memory at the moment, he would like to attend if one is held.