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Dad's Army actor Ian Lavender who played Private Pike dies

Ian Lavender, the last surviving member of Dad's Army, has died.

Lavender, who played Private Frank Pike in the TV series, was 77 years old.

His death was confirmed by his agent.

Lavender also starred in Yes Minister and EastEnders and appeared on stage in a production of Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice.

He grew up in Birmingham and was cast in Dad's Army aged 22, appearing in the entire run of the series and in the 1971 spin-off film.

He played the hapless Pike, who frequently had run-ins with Captain George Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) - calling him "Stupid Boy" - and who was looked after by Sergeant Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier).

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

In EastEnders he played the role of Derek Harkinson, a gay friend of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard), for four years, before leaving in 2005.

He made a brief return to the show in 2016 but left in 2017 after he became ill with sepsis. He had previously had cancer and a heart attack.

Royal Mail marked the 50th anniversary of Dad's Army with a collection of stamps featuring the main characters in 2018.

The same year, Lavender cleared up a long-standing mystery from the show 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!'"