Stars of The Archers have paid tribute to the “graceful and witty” Sara Coward, who has died of cancer aged 69.
Sara had played Caroline Sterling on the much-loved BBC Radio 4 drama since 1977.
Co-stars including Ian Pepperell, who plays Roy Tucker, offered their condolences and tributes on Twitter.
Dearest Sara Coward, may we all remember you for the love you gave, the joy you brought and the laughs and honesty you dealt to us. Rip pepp— Ian Pepperell (@ianpepperell99) February 13, 2017
Sara was such s pleasure to be with. RIP loving, kind, intelligent, funny lady. https://t.co/ynEhcbcoB3— Annette Badland (@AnnetteBadland1) February 13, 2017
Charles Collingwood, whose character Brian Aldridge had an affair with Caroline, said Sara would be “sadly missed”.
In a statement to the Press Association, he said: “Sara was a good friend to us all and her character Caroline was Brian’s first affair outside of his marriage to Jennifer, what fun we had!
“She had a very distinctive voice which became recognisable to millions. She will be sadly missed by all of us.”
Isobel Middleton, who plays Anna Tregorran, said Sara was a “lovely woman, gone too soon”.
Caroline was my first #TheArchers crush, and when I came to work on the programme, Sara Coward was an absolute delight. What a loss.— keridavies (@keridavies) February 13, 2017
So sad to learn of Sara's death. A lovely, graceful and witty woman xx https://t.co/T8Ef3gEOF1— Susie Riddell (@SusieRids) February 13, 2017
Very sad to hear of the passing of Sara Coward. A lovely woman, gone too soon. Sympathies & condolences to all her loved ones. #thearchers— Isobel Middleton (@barnaclebelle) February 13, 2017
Earlier Archers editor Huw Kennair-Jones had said: “Everyone in The Archers family is very sad today. Sara was a gifted actress with a unique voice.
“Even when she was navigating the tribulations of Caroline Sterling’s love life, Sara’s deft wit and clever characterisation meant Caroline was never solely defined by her relationships but always as a fully rounded, intriguing woman of substance.
“We will all miss her both professionally and personally.”