Archie Lyndhurst: Jack Whitehall pays tribute to ‘utter joy to work with’

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Archie Lyndhurst played a younger version of Jack Whitehall on TV, film and on-stage

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Matt Squire/BBC

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Archie Lyndhurst played a younger version of Jack Whitehall on TV, film and on-stage

Comedian Jack Whitehall has posted a glowing tribute to late actor Archie Lyndhurst, who has died at the age of 19, calling him as an “utter joy”.

Lyndhurst played a younger version of Whitehall on TV, film and stage, and appeared in his series Bad Education.

He was “passionate, generous and pitch perfect” and “loved by everyone on set”, the comic wrote. He would “never be forgotten”, he added.

Archie was the son of Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst.

“Archie Lyndhurst came in to my life nearly 10 years ago, playing the young me in a short film I’d written,” Whitehall wrote with “a heavy heart”.

‘The most wonderful unique son’

“He was brilliant, so talented and funny. An utter joy to work with.”

Responding to his tribute online, Archie’s mum Lucy thanked Whitehall for “all the amazing opportunities” he put their son’s way, and for the “lifelong friendship” that had ensued.

“He loved every moment of every job and relished in the fantastic scripts you wrote,” she said.

“We shall love him forever and a day and are the luckiest parents to have had the most wonderful unique son who has bought us nothing but joy in our lives.”

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Archie Lyndhurst with his father Nicholas and mother Lucy Smith in 2017

Lyndhurst, who was best known for playing Ollie Coulton in the CBBC comedy So Awkward, died after a short illness, it was confirmed on Thursday.

In a statement, Nicholas said he and Lucy were “utterly grief stricken and respectfully request privacy”.

Whitehall recalled how his “wonderful partnership” with their son led to them doing a skit at the London Palladium and joining forces again in a sketch for his arena tour and TV special.

“When we needed to find an actor to play the young Alfie Wickers in Bad Education it was the easiest piece of casting we ever had to do,” he continued.

‘Truly special soul’

“Every time I worked with Archie he was the same – passionate, generous and pitch perfect, he was loved by everyone on set. I have no doubt he would have had a long and illustrious career and would have continued lighting up the lives of all those who encountered him.”

Whitehall went on to explain that during lockdown, Archie had been taking shopping and groceries to his parents Michael and Hilary when they couldn’t leave the house.

“The enthusiastic and talented boy I met all those years ago had grown into an equally charming young man,” he wrote of the kind gesture. “It’s testament to what a wonderful and kind person he was.”

He concluded: “The world has been robbed of a truly special soul. He will never be forgotten, I feel utterly devastated that he is gone but I also feel so blessed to have met him.”

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