Can you help shed light on the mysterious death of a TV star at his Harborough district home?
Daniel Ward has carried out over 80 in-depth interviews for his new book on much-loved actor Barry Evans, with the blessing of Barry's closest friends
An author is writing a new book about a tragic TV star whose death at his home in a Harborough district village is still a real mystery – and he wants your help.
Daniel Ward has carried out over 80 in-depth interviews with the former colleagues and co-stars of much-loved actor Barry Evans – who lived in Claybrooke Magna, near Lutterworth.
And he’s now asking for anyone who knew Barry after he moved here to the Harborough district to share their personal memories with him as he puts together his biography.
“I have been working on this new book about Barry Evans for about three years. He led a fascinating life and his death is still very much shrouded in deep mystery,” Daniel told the Harborough Mail.
“So I’m appealing to any of your readers across the district who got to know Barry to get in touch with me – I’d love to hear from you.”
Born in Guildford, Surrey, in June 1943, Barry was orphaned as a baby as the Second World War was still raging.
The talented teenager broke through into acting after winning a coveted place at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.
Barry went on to star in the hit TV sitcoms ‘Doctor In The House’ and ‘Mind Your Language’ in the late 1960s and 1970s.
He also appeared in the cult movie ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ in 1968.
“Unfortunately, Barry was unable to sustain the huge success he had as an actor in the 1970s and the work slowly began to dry up,” said Daniel, of Thurrock, Essex.
Barry left acting altogether as he moved to Claybrooke Magna in 1993 to work as a taxi driver.
He’s thought to have worked for Crest Taxis in Rugby before breaking away and setting out on his own as a cabbie.
“Barry must have come across and got to know a lot of local people as he ferried passengers in and around Lutterworth, Rugby, Market Harborough and across Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire,” said Daniel.
“In February 1997, Barry was found dead in his home at the age of just 53 in very mysterious circumstances.
“Three local youths were arrested after being found in possession of his stolen taxi the night before.”
But nobody was ever taken to court or prosecuted over the former actor’s death.
And in 1998 an open verdict was recorded at an inquest into Barry’s death.
“It seemed the true story of how this once hugely popular TV star, known to millions up and down the country, met his sad end in a small village in Leicestershire would for ever remain a mystery,” said Daniel.
“My biography is being written with the blessing and co-operation of Barry’s closest friends.
“I have conducted over 80 exclusive interviews with many of his former colleagues and co-stars.
“They include such illustrious names as Dunkirk star Sir Mark Rylance, who was a very good friend of Barry’s.
“I’ve also had the co-operation of Leicestershire Police and I’ve interviewed police officers who investigated his death,” added Daniel.
“I would love to be able to reach out to people across Harborough district and Rugby who remember Barry from his time living and working in the area.
“Or they may have new information relating to his death.
“And I’m sure that an article in the Harborough Mail about my new book will be a great way of appealing to local people for their invaluable assistance.
“My book will be published at the end of 2021.
“I believe it will have significant local interest, featuring Claybrooke Magna, Lutterworth, Market Harborough and Rugby among others.”
Daniel has written books in the fields of music, medical biography and crime fiction.
He’s also written for television and radio.
“I am the author of ‘Agnetha Fältskog – The Girl With The Golden Hair’, the biography of the Swedish superstar and singer from the super band ABBA,” said Daniel.
“The book was published in 2016 in the UK and USA and was very well received with critics and fans alike, currently holding a maximum 5-star rating on Amazon.com.”
If you did know Barry and would like to help Daniel write his new biography, you can email him at: [email protected]