Actor Gorden Kaye, best known for his role in the long-running sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, has died aged 75.

Kaye played reluctant resister and cafe owner Rene Francois Artois in the show, set in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War.

The star's agent confirmed he had died on Monday but made no further comment.

The show ran on BBC One from 1982 to 1992 and remains one of Britain's best-loved sitcoms.

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Vicki Michelle, who played Rene's mistress and waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche in the show, said Kaye was "loved the world over".

As Rene, Kaye risked his neck to aid the resistance and stay out of trouble with the Nazis, with Carmen Silvera playing his wife Edith, Richard Gibson as Gestapo officer Herr Flick and Arthur Bostrom as Officer Crabtree, whose mangled vowels led him to adopt the greeting "Good moaning".

A frequent philanderer, Rene was a surprise attraction for the local women and had love affairs with a number of his waitresses.

A long-running joke had Rene hiding a painting, The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies, inside a garlic sausage.

Before landing his career-defining role, Kaye appeared in a number of shows including It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served? and played Elsie Tanner's nephew Bernard Butler in Coronation Street from 1969 to 1970.

Kaye also starred in a successful stage version of 'Allo 'Allo! alongside the original cast, and later a new-look line-up, which frequently toured in the UK and internationally.

In 1990 he nearly died in a freak accident which left him with severe head injuries when a wooden advertising hoarding blew through his car windscreen during a storm in London.