Tributes have been flooding in after the shock news that Lynda Baron has passed away yesterday at the age of 82.
The BAFTA award-winning, Urmston-born actress, comedian, and singer was probably best known for playing the role of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the iconic BBC sitcom Open All Hours between 1976-1985 starring opposite Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker, and then again in the show’s sequel series Still Open All Hours from 2013-2016.
She also notably-played Auntie Mabel in the beloved CBeebies children’s TV show Come Outside from 1993-1997.
She had also appeared in the ITV sitcom Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt, BBC soap EastEnders as Linda Clarke, the mother of Jane Beale, and made appearances in Doctor Who, Last Of The Summer Wine, and much-loved Mancunian favourite sitcom Dinner Ladies.
Baron’s devastating death was announced in a statement shared by her agent of nearly 30 years, Donna French, yesterday: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved client Lynda Baron [who] was a wonderful actress and a great friend.
“We have lost a leading light of our world.
“We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Sarah, her son Morgan and all her family.”
Since the shocking news broke, previous co-stars and fans have been taking to social media to share their heartfelt tributes and memories of Baron’s successful and celebrated career, and everything she achieved.
Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley paid tribute to Baron – who played her mother in the drama series Fat Friends, saying: “Each and everyday, I learnt so much from you, but mostly, we always laughed together and your energy will live on forever.”
Stockport-born actress Sally Lindsay wrote in tribute on Twitter: “I loved Lynda Baron. She was funny and clever and a joy to work with, and she once gifted me a pair of beautiful red shoes. This has made me very sad – RIP Lynda darling.”
Actor Adil Ray OBE also paid a worthy tribute on Twitter: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Lynda Baron. Such a lovely lady and a giving, caring person on set. We were so honoured when she played a guest role in Citizen Khan. She was so supportive.
“Thoughts with Lynda’s friends and family,” he added.
Radcliffe-born actor John Partridge, who played Baron’s EastEnders character’s son, said: “Absolutely heartbroken… The showgirls showgirl. She was so very gracious, giving and a RIOT to boot. Night night Mum.”
The official Twitter accounts of EastEnders, CBeebies, and more have also paid tribute.
Fans have too been sharing memories of Baron in their hundreds on Twitter.
One fan wrote: “Such sad news about Lynda Baron, an actress who was a comforting auntie to a generation of kids she never met.
“She had a quality when you watched her that made you feel like you knew her so well.”
Another said: “How sad to hear the passing of Lynda Baron, well known to us all as nurse Gladys Emmanuel in Open All Hours, and she was also Auntie Mabel with her lovely dog Pippin, in Come Outside – a lovely children’s program my daughter loved to bits when she was little.
“A beautiful figure and comfort from so many of our childhoods, rest in peace to Lynda Baron,” another fan said on Twitter.
In her earlier life, Baron trained at the Royal Academy of Dance, before pursuing a career in acting, comedy, and showbusiness.
Baron was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011 for her role in The Road To Coronation Street on BBC Four – a one-off drama about the early days of the soap, in which she played actress Violet Carson, who portrayed Ena Sharples in the long-running series.
Her film credits also included 2020’s sports movie Dream Horse, Woody Allen’s 2006 romantic crime Scoop, and 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick.
Also an accomplished West End star, Baron featured in the musical Follies, and in the stage version of In Celebration alongside Orlando Bloom, and also appeared in numerous other theatre productions including An Inspector Calls, Stepping Out, and The Full Monty.
Chester Zoo is giving away 35,000 FREE tickets to children
Chester Zoo is giving away tickets to local schools to help inspire a whole new generation of young conservationists.
The UK’s largest charity zoo is on a mission to help nature to “survive and thrive”.
And so, in a bid to do just that, has announced that it will once again be handing out tens of thousands of tickets to schoolchildren for completely free of charge, so that they can explore the zoo up close and learn all about the inspiring work the conservation charity does.
Chester Zoo‘s free ticket scheme has been running since 2017, and has already seen more than 100,000 children get to experience all the wonders the zoo has to offer.
With the hopes of empowering as many youngsters as possible, and sparking their passion for saving species once again, the zoo has now opened the scheme back up for the 2024/25 season – with a whopping 35,000 tickets available for schools, nurseries, and colleges to claim.
Not only that, but the zoo has also decided to open the initiative up to the education providers that haven’t benefited from the scheme within the last three years.
Every school participating in the programme will receive a free resource pack to help maximise the educational impact of their zoo visit.
“Every one of us is a custodian of our natural world,” commented Charlotte Smith, who is the Director of Conservation Education and Engagement at Chester Zoo, “But it’s the next generation of conservationists who are fundamentally important to overcoming the environmental and biodiversity challenges our planet is facing.
“They are inspiring and they give us hope, which is why we’re so keen to connect them with the awe and wonder of nature and help to nurture their passion and desire to make a difference.
“It’s proven that a visit to the zoo can significantly enhance people’s understanding of the huge efforts that go into conserving highly threatened species, while also bringing physical and mental health benefits.
“That’s why we particularly want to reach youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of the initiative, so we can provide them with the skills and know-how to go on and make a real, positive difference to wildlife in their everyday lives.”
The zoo is hoping to help inspire a whole new generation of young conservationists / Credit: Chester Zoo
Applications for Chester Zoo’s Free School Visits programme are now open, with free visits able to take place between Friday 1 November 2024 – Friday 28 February 2025, and any forms that are incomplete or received after the deadline date of Friday 22 March 2024 are unable to be processed.
The scheme is open exclusively for nurseries, schools, and college groups.
Places are open to schools who haven’t taken advantage of the scheme in the last four academic years, and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so the zoo is advising that people complete and submit the application form at “your earliest opportunity” to make sure they don’t miss out.