Kevin Whately pays tribute to Morse creator Colin Dexter

Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox in Inspector Lewis
Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox in Inspector Lewis
Author

24 March, 2017

Inspector Morse author Colin Dexter has died aged 86.

Dexter's series of Morse novels, which were written between 1975 and 1999, were adapted for the long-running ITV series that starred John Thaw.

Mr Dexter's contribution to his adopted home was recognised in 2001 when he was made a Freeman of the City, just months after being made an OBE in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

He grew up in Stamford, and in 2011 became an honorary graduate at the University of Lincoln.

In a statement his publisher said: "With vast sadness, MacMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning". "Condolences go to his family, friends and many fans".

Kevin Whately, who played Morse's sidekick Lewis in the series, described Dexter as "impish and bubbly and always fascinated with everybody and everything", the BBC reported. Whately revealed Dexter loved making cameo appearances in the drama series inspired by his books and short stories, but he wasn't great in front of the camera.

"His is loyalty, modesty and self-deprecating humour gave joy to many", his editor Maria Rejt wrote.

As a lover of ale, crosswords, Wagner and English literature he shared many traits with Morse and was a regular crossword setter for The Oxford Times under the name Codex.

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Tributes have been paid by those who knew and worked with Mr Dexter.

The former teacher said: "I think Morse, if he had really existed and was still alive, would probably say to me "Well, you didn't do me too bad a service in your writing".

MacMillan's publisher, Jeremy Trevathan, described Dexter's death as a "tectonic shift in the global crime writing scene".

He said: "Colin represented the absolute epitome of British crime writing, and in the 1990s John Thaw's Inspector Morse took over Wednesday night television".

Dexter's character proved so popular that he has since been featured in two spin off shows, Lewis and Endeavour.

"He was one of those television characters who the nation took to their hearts".

He killed off the detective in the final book The Remorseful Day. "Very sad to hear of his death today".


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