Prunella Scales has described late sitcom star Richard Briers as a "wonderful colleague and a dear friend" after he passed away aged 79.
Scales, best known for her role as Sybil in Fawlty Towers, played opposite Briers as his wife in Marriage Lines in the early 1960s, for her first big career break.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live she would always be "so grateful to him" for encouraging her to read for the part, at a time when she was newly married to actor Timothy West in real life.
Former BBC chairman Michael Grade added his tribute to Briers, telling the radio station:
I think the nation has lost one of its most favourite, favourite, favourite actors of all time - he's sort of up there with Ronnie Barker and Alan Bennett, you know, the people you're always pleased to see doing anything on television or in the theatre.
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