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.

Born in Huddersfield, he got his first big break when he secured a contract with Bolton’s newly-launched Octagon Theatre.

The former grammar school student and rugby player had worked in a variety of jobs — including in radio, factory and mills — when he signed up for a radio play directed by playwright and director Sir Alan Ayckbourn, who advised him to approach the Octagon.

Roles there included Pishchik in The Cherry Orchard, The Homecoming, The Imaginary Invalid, Luther, and a double-bill of Oedipus and Cyclops.

In 1969, he won a part in ITV’s Coronation Street.

More theatre and television work followed, but he became a household name as Rene in the BBC television comedy series.

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

Vicki Michelle, who played Rene’s mistress and waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche, said Kaye was “loved the world over”.