Tributes paid to TV actor Ned, 87

Ned Irish won a role in a 2006 BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre
Ned Irish won a role in a 2006 BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre

A SCARBOROUGH actor who received his Equity card at the age of 73 has died, aged 87.

Thomas Edward Irish, who was known as Ned, was originally from Huddersfield and had lived in Scarborough for the past 12 years.

His family say he was a “jack of all trades”, having served in the Merchant Navy and worked as a school teacher, restaurateur and hotelier.

However, his love of acting blossomed later in life, through a love of amateur dramatics.

Much of Mr Irish’s stage acting was done in Whitby, from around 1993.

He got his Equity card at 73 and won a role in a BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Mr Irish, who lived in Weaponness Valley Road, played “George the footman” at the home of the unpredictable Edward Rochester.

His appearance was when Jane arrived at Thornfield Hall, set at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, at night time and in the rain.

Mr Irish, playing George, let Jane in through the portcullis and took her inside.

Mr Irish, who started his TV acting career as an extra in Heartbeat, was full of praise for Jane Eyre’s director, Susanna White.

He told the Evening News at the time: “She was absolutely fabulous. Everything is about detail. Nothing is too much trouble and the best thing about it is that she will talk to you one to one and you can make suggestions.

“It was a real eye-opener and because of that everybody felt good about it and good about themselves, and this made for a very, very happy atmosphere.”

Mr Irish has also featured in the television dramas Emmerdale, The Royal and Where The Heart Is.

He said at the time: “It was a wonderful thing to happen to anyone.

“Instead of looking back, as many do at that age, I looked forward.”

Mr Irish’s first real acting job was for ITV hospital drama Always And Everyone filmed around the docklands of Manchester, in which he played a patient.

Paying tribute to her husband, Pearl Irish said: “Ned was a remarkable man, full of charm, warmth and talent and he will be greatly missed by all.”

Mr Irish passed away in St Catherine’s Hospice on December 15.

He leaves his widow Pearl and was a father to Marcus, John and the late Susan.

He was also a dear grandfather to Gina.

Mr Irish’s funeral is being held today at St Andrew’s United Reformed Church.