Bodger and Badger star and creator Andy Cunningham has passed away at the age of 67, his relatives have confirmed.
The children’s entertainer had been battling cancer, and died at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on Monday, surrounded by close friends and family.
Andy’s sister Tessa said that he ‘lived to be loved and to make people laugh, starting with me, his little sister’.
‘He had a quicksilver brain, a rebellious attitude, boundless compassion particularly for the underdog, unstinting levels of generosity and, of course, a passion for mashed potato.’
‘I adored him and, long before he found fame, was immensely proud to have the funniest, cleverest big brother in the universe.’
CBBC paid tribute to Andy online, tweeting a message which read: ‘So sad to hear that kids TV legend Andy Cunningham (aka Bodger) has died. We can never eat mashed potato without thinking of you ❤️ ❤️ ❤️’
Fans have also taken to social media to pay their respects, with many crediting him for helping to create some of their favourite childhood memories.
‘Bodger and Badger was such a huge part of my childhood, RIP Andy Cunningham. Wherever you are I hope it’s free of mash potato’ one said, with another adding: ‘Sad to hear about the passing of #AndyCunningham I used to love Bodger and Badger as a kid.’
‘Sad news loved watching this show and thought Andy was a very talented bloke. RIP x mark #mashedpotatolegend,’ a third agreed.
Andy shot to fame in the role of Simon Bodger with his sidekick Badger, whom he also voiced, in the popular BBC show, which first aired in 1989.
Bodger and Badger ran for nine series and a total of 124 episodes, coming to an end in March 1999, although he also made a created a Bodger and Badger Live on Stage video in 2006, and made occasional TV appearances as the beloved character after this point.