Former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher has shared a heartbreaking tribute on Twitter following the death of David Johnson, the founder of the Oldham Theatre Workshop.
Dozens of actors and actresses studied at the school under the tutelage of David, including Kelvin. Among the alumni he taught, many have gone on to star in some of the UK's most popular soaps, including Michael Le Vell, Lisa Riley and even the late Anne Kirkbride. Sacha Dawan, who currently plays the latest incarnation of The Master in Doctor Who, also studied there.
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In his tribute, Kelvin praised David for the impact that he had on his own career, as he penned: "Singlehandedly the biggest influence on my career and arguably, the reason behind my career."
He added: "I know I speak for so many. Thank you David Johnson. What a legacy."
Lisa also shared her own tribute, as she wrote: "REST IN PEACE for all of us whom were taught by David Johnson, today is a very sad day, I know I speak for many of my fellow actors in the industry, we wouldn't be where we are today without this LEGEND of a man.
"I owe so much to you David…..you know how much I loved you."
Kelvin shared a moving message
Fans offered their support in the comments, as one said: "Can't believe it Kelvin, only just seen the news. Very very sad, what a man, what a character. Rest in peace David," and another shared: "Very sad news he was our drama teacher at Breeze Hill."
A third posted: "The legend himself, I'm so grateful to have been taught by him, such a sad loss.. my heart is heavy, rest in peace DAVID JOHNSON."
David passed away on Wednesday. He launched his theatre company in 1968, with the cast usually putting on five shows a year. In 2019, David was awarded a BEM for his work.
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