Michael Angelis dead: Tributes paid to 'tremendous' Thomas And Friends narrator

Ewan Somerville
Actor Michael Angelis on his wedding day to his then wife actress Helen Worth: PA

Tributes have been paid to the “tremendous” actor and narrator Michael Angelis after his death aged 76.

Angelis was best known as the long-term narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine series Thomas And Friends.

He died suddenly while at home with his wife on Saturday, his agent said.

He was a familiar voice on the children’s TV programme for 13 series, taking over from Ringo Starr in 1991.

Tributes flooded in for the star, with Matt Lucas describing him as “one of the greatest TV actors I’ve ever seen”.

“His work with (screenwriter) Alan Bleasdale was tremendous. What a loss,” he said.

Michael Angelis was a familiar voice on the Thomas The Tank Engine series Thomas And Friends (PA)

The Thick Of It writer Simon Blackwell remembered Angelis as “enormously funny”.

Skins screenwriter Jack Thorne shared a tribute to the actor’s work in Boys From The Blackstuff.

Sharing an excerpt from the TV drama’s script, Thorne said: “There’s a moment in it that made my heart stop.”

Angelis was best known to adult audiences for his role as Arnie in September Song, Martin Niarchos in GBH, Lucien Boswell in The Liver Birds and as Mickey Startup in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

He also made appearances in Casualty, The Bill, Holby City and Heartbeat.

Born in Liverpool, Angelis first appeared on screen in the 1970s in programmes such as Z Cars, Thirty-Minute Theatre and an episode of Coronation Street, before stints in Minder, World’s End and Boys From The Blackstuff.

He was married to Coronation Street actress Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt, from 1991 to 2001, and later married Jennifer Khalastchi.