BREAKING NEWS: South Yorkshire born Duty Free actor Keith Barron dies at 83

Keith Barron.
Keith Barron.
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South Yorkshire born actor Keith Barron, who starred in hit 80s comedy Duty Free, has died at the age of 83.

Mr Barron, who was born in Mexborough, has died after a short illness, it was revealed this morning.

He rose to fame in the 1960s as Detective Sergeant Swift in The Odd Man and played a number of roles in hit shows such as Coronation Street, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Benidorm.

But he is best remembered for his role in Yorkshire Television sitcom, Duty Free, where he played David Pearce, a hapless holidaymaker who falls in love with another hotel guest during a break in Spain.

A statement from his agent said Barron enjoyed "a long and varied career, of which he was immensely proud.

"He is survived by his wife Mary to whom he was married for 58 years and his son, Jamie, also an actor."

Keith Barron with Gwen Taylor in the updated stage version of Duty Free.

Keith Barron with Gwen Taylor in the updated stage version of Duty Free.

Set in Spain, Duty Free ran for three series from 1984 until 1986 with Barron starring as lead character.

The show was about two couples - David and Amy Pearce and Robert and Linda Cochran, who meet on holiday in the same hotel in Marbella.

Much of the humour of the show came from the efforts of David and Linda's attempts to get away with the affair that starts between them.

Barron learnt his craft at the former Sheffield Playhouse, where he also met his wife, stage designer Mary Pickard.

The original cast of the 80s sitcom Duty Free.

The original cast of the 80s sitcom Duty Free.

Born in 1934, he was a familiar face on television throughout his career, also appearing in The New Avengers, The Professionals and A Touch of Frost.

He also starred in the sitcoms Haggard and All Night Long and was a regular character on the ITV Sunday-night drama Where the Heart Is.

On the big screen, he appeared in Baby Love (1968) and the David Puttnam film Melody (1971) and also appeared as the guest celebrity in dictionary corner on several episodes of the Channel 4 words and numbers game Countdown.

In 2007 Barron joined ITV's Coronation Street as George Trench and in 2014, he returned to the stage for a live version of his classic sitcom Duty Free.

Three of the original cast returned for a stage version of the show in 2014.

Three of the original cast returned for a stage version of the show in 2014.

The show saw the return of original cast members Keith and Gwen Taylor, who played working class duo David and Amy, and Neil Stacy, joined by Carol Royle, as the upper-middle class Robert and Linda.

Keith Barron is shown around Meadowhall during its construction.

Keith Barron is shown around Meadowhall during its construction.

Mexborough-born Mr Barron launches a heart health campaign in Doncaster in the early 2000s.

Mexborough-born Mr Barron launches a heart health campaign in Doncaster in the early 2000s.