Peter Tuddenham, actor, born November 27 1918; died July 9 2007
Born in Ipswich, Suffolk, and brought up in the seaside resort of Felixstowe, he made his professional debut before the second world war, in repertory on the pier at Hastings. In the wartime Royal Army Service Corps, he was one of many who honed their performing skills appearing with Stars in Battledress.
After the war, he joined a production of Ivor Novello's The Dancing Years; later, in 1959, BBC productions of this and another Novello musical, Perchance to Deam, were among his early television appearances.
During the 1950s Tuddenham played in numerous West End farces, revues and musical comedies, including Peter Ustinov’s The Love of Four Colonels, in which he played five different parts. He took a regular role in Anglia Television's twice-weekly soap Weavers Green (1966). As an expert on the Suffolk accents, he became Anglia's regular dialect coach.
Tuddenham joined the BBC Radio drama company for two years, and played a regular part in the series Mrs Dale’s Diary. Later, he had another long-running part, Ted Thurston, in the radio series Waggoner’s Walk. Over the next 40 years he appeared in numerous plays, including A Self Made Man, Emma, and The Mayor of Casterbridge. He read stories on Woman’s Hour, Morning Story and on several children’s programmes.
In 1975 he became an off-screen voice in the Doctor Who stories The Ark in Space and The Masque of Mandragora. He went on to provided the voices of the computers (Zen, Orac and Slave) in the popular TV series Blake's 7 (1978-81), a show which developed a passionate and vocal cult following. He reprised these roles in revivals for radio, and in audio tapes made by fans.
Shortly before his introduction to sci-fi television, Tuddenham enjoyed his finest hour in the cinema, again unseen, when he provided the voice of Old Tom in Akenfield (1974), Peter Hall's moving, lyrical version of
Ronald Blythe's book about life in a small Suffolk village. In 1985 he became the dialogue coach for Hall's production at Glyndebourne of Benjamin Britten's opera, Albert Herring, which was televised on BBC2
His radio work was wide ranging and varied (from Shakespeare and Shaw to soap operas) but he was always content to remain in supporting roles.