The wife of Are You Being Served? star Trevor Bannister has paid tribute to his impeccable comic timing following his death aged 76.

Mr Bannister, best known for his role as Mr Lucas in the 1970s sitcom, was at their Thames Ditton allotment when he suffered a heart attack on April 14.

Pamela, his wife of almost two decades, said he would have been proud of his final take.

She said: “Trevor was up on our allotment, which he loved.

“He was a comic actor, and to die on top of the shed with a hammer in his hand – talk about a wonderful exit for a comic actor.

“I’m afraid the way he died was straight out of Last of the Summer Wine.”

Mr Bannister first came to prominence playing Heavy Breathing in the Dustbinmen in 1969, after which David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd wrote the department store comedy as a vehicle for his talents.

Playing a young menswear salesman, Mr Lucas was besotted by Wendy Richard’s Miss Brahms, of the ladies’ underwear department.

He also played three characters in Coronation Street, and was most recently on screen as Tony Mulberry Smith, captain of the local golf club in Last of the Summer Wine.

Mrs Bannister said: “He adored [Are You Being Served?]. They were all huge friends. He still got a lot of fan mail, especially from America.

I believe they still run it over there.

She added: “He was a genuinely funny, funny man.

“He was a great comedy actor, and he would have laughed at how he departed this world, being brought down off the top of the roof by a fireman.”

As well as his TV career, he enjoyed playing the dame in pantomimes across the country.

Mr Bannister was a passionate golfer at the Stage Golfing Society at Richmond Golf Club. The society is one of the oldest in Britain, dating from 1903.

Originally membership was confined to actors but it has since been widened to include all those creatively involved in the entertainment industry.

John Peters, secretary of the society, said: “He [Mr Bannister] was captain in 1996 and he was a very important part of the society. “He fell in love with the game.”

A celebration of Mr Bannister’s life will be held at Ham Polo Club.

A date has yet to be fixed for the event.