Heartbeat actor William Simons dies aged 79

Heartbeat actor William Simons has died at the age of 79.

The Welsh-born TV star was well-known for his role in the show as PC Alf Ventress from 1992 to 2010.

His agent Bryn Newton told the Standard: "Everybody who has ever known him will miss him terribly. He was a lovely human being. He was a gentle, loving man.

“It’s terribly sad.”

​PC Ventress was known for his cantankerous personality.

He was a character in the show throughout all 18 seasons, appearing as a civilian even after retiring from the force.

Simons, real name Clifford William Cumberbatch Simons, also appeared in Emmerdale in 1976 and Coronation Street between 1972 and 1987.

A 60-year acting career also saw him play Patrick Malahide's sidekick in the BBC's The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries.

He took roles in Last Of The Summer Wine, Bergerac and The Darling Buds Of May, among other series.