The Archers actor Edward Kelsey has been remembered for his “insatiably curious mind” and love of “lively conversation, good company and a great storyline” after his death at the age of 88.
The radio star, known as Ted, played Joe Grundy on the BBC Radio 4 soap from 1985.
His family said: “Ted counted himself immensely lucky that he was able to enjoy a long and varied career doing the thing that he loved, entertaining an audience, and fortunate indeed to have met and worked with so many talented, generous, creative people along the way.
“He embodied the principle that the show must always go on – his chief concern through increasing ill health the need to convince medical staff he was fit enough to record with his ‘extended family’ in Birmingham.
“He had an insatiably curious mind and never lost his appetite for lively conversation, good company and, of course, a great storyline.”
Jeremy Howe, editor of The Archers, added: “Ted’s time in Ambridge gave us one of the great performances in the history of British radio – idiosyncratic, warm, cantankerous yet generous, dripping with the Grundy magic and wonderfully funny.
“Ted’s Joe Grundy was a brilliant creation because Ted was a brilliant actor – and a truly lovely man and great company member.
“A cherished part of our team, I am sure all of us will agree that working with Ted was a rare privilege and he will be very much missed.”
Kelsey took over the part of Grundy, who at 97 was significantly older than the actor who played him, from Haydn Jones.