Character actor Lionel Jeffries has dies, aged 83 years old.

Lionel Jeffries, actor and director of the 1970’s children’s classic The Railway Children has died, aged 83.

A spokeswoman for his agent, the Liz Hobbs Group, said: “We can confirm he did pass away this morning. It was following a long illness.”

Rada trained Jeffries also appeared in front of the camera in films such as First Men In The Moon, Camelot and, most famously, as Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

During the 1980s and 1990s, he made appeared in UK TV shows such as Minder, Inspector Morse, Boon and Lovejoy.

His four other directing credits included The Amazing Mr Blunden, a version of The Water Babies and the Womble movie Wombling Free.