Tony Selby


Popular actor Tony Selby has died of covid complications aged 83. A stage actor from his teenage years on (including in the first performance of Edward Bond’s Saved), Selby appeared in early roles in films like Witchfinder General  (alongside the late Hilary Dwyer, who also died of covid) and the Spike Milligan Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall. He had a recurring role in Minder, and appeared in shows such as Callan, The Avengers and, more recently, New Tricks.

In the mid 80s he appeared in 9 episodes of Doctor Who as mercenary turned conman Sabolom Glitz, one of the last great roles written by screenwriter Robert Holmes before his early death. Glitz was a depressed hitman who hated the job and wanted sympathy, and alongside Glen Murphy (London’s Burning star in an early role) and later Sylvester McCoy, got some of the best lines in the late run of the classic era. Tony Selby loved the role, and got the best out of some fun dialogue, such as admitting his psychologist saying Glitz had a “infantine inability to come to terms with the more pertinent aspects of life” was likely an insult as he was trying to kill the man at the time! Glitz went from enemy of Doctor Who to friend, and Tony Selby played both like the wide boys you might meet down the pub who want to sell you a dodgy toaster.

At the same time he was offered a role in Eastenders, but turned it down, as he bloody well hated Wendy Richard. He did however make a short appearance in 2002, as Phil and Grant Mitchell’s uncle!

He was a unique pick for Sweeney Todd Dying Squad.

Tony Selby
26 February 1938 – 5 September 2021