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Doctor Who legend William Russell dies aged 99 as tributes flood in

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William Russell, who starred in the original Doctor Who series over sixty years ago, has sadly passed away at the age of 99.The actor, who was the longest running Doctor Who companion on the show, first gained recognition on the ITV series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot in 1956 and went on to have a successful career on stage and screen.

His most notable role was as Ian Chesterton alongside William Hartnell in the very first episode of the BBC's Doctor Who in 1963.Russell reprised his role in 2022 for Jodie Whittaker's final appearance as The Doctor, marking 57 years since he first appeared on the iconic sci-fi show, breaking a TV record in the process.

His character, Ian, a science teacher, was a companion of the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell from November 1963 until October 1966, the Mirror reports.During his initial stint on Doctor Who in the 60s, Russell featured in 77 episodes across the first two series.

He returned to the role 57 years later for Jodie's grand exit at the end of 2022. This triumphant return not only thrilled fans but also earned him a place in The Guinness Book of Records.Actor William Russell has notably set the record for the longest interval between TV appearances, with a staggering 57-year and 120-day gap between his most recent portrayals as The Doctor's associate, Ian.

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