Actor William Simons was at the core of Heartbeat - The Yorkshire Post says

He will undoubtedly be remembered for his lengthy stint as Alf Ventress, the Heartbeat constable famed for his encyclopedic community knowledge in an era when policing was locally-focused.

William Simons played PC Alf Ventress in ITVs Heartbeat.
William Simons played PC Alf Ventress in ITVs Heartbeat.

But far from the cantankerous and curmudgeonly nature for which his character was renowned, tributes being paid to actor William Simons speak of a “wonderful, warm...lovely human being”.

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He was a familiar face in the North York Moors, buying a house in the village of Goathland, where much of the filming took place, and it is testament to his kindness that Yorkshire Post readers who had the pleasure of meeting him recall a true gentleman, who always had time for a chat.

His role as PC Ventress was the icing on the cake of a career that had already spanned six decades and, as a fixture through all 18 series of the ITV show, it is for this that the 79-year-old Welshman will remain best known. Rest in Peace, a true heart of Heartbeat.