British Blackadder actress Patsy Byrne dies aged 80

LONDON (AFP) - Patsy Byrne, who played Nursie in the popular British television comedy Blackadder, has died aged 80 – the second star from the cult 1980s series to die in a fortnight, after Rik Mayall’s sudden death.

Denville Hall, a north-west London care home for elderly actors, said Byrne died on Tuesday.

Her death came eight days after that of Mayall, who died aged 56 from a sudden heart failure following a run.

Byrne played Nursie – Queen Elizabeth I’s bonkers former nanny, whose real name was Bernard – in Blackadder II.

She and Mayall shared a memorable scene during the 1986 second series, which was set in the Tudor era.

Following a grand entrance, Mayall’s sex-obsessed lothario Lord Flashheart barks at Byrne’s plump, middle-aged character: “Nursie! I like it firm and fruity!”

Educated in Kent, south-east England, Byrne joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, and played parts on the London stage.

Blackadder was voted Britain’s second-best situation comedy series in a 2004 BBC-organised poll won by Only Fools and Horses.