He was born Walter Tenniel Evans on 17th May 1926 in Nairobi, Kenya, where his father ran a farm and lived there for the first ten years of his life, one of six children. He moved to England in 1936 after winning a scholarship to Christ's Hospital boarding school in Horsham and later joined Sandhurst but was discharged as he was unable to cope with the physical aspect of his training. Aftger studying at St Andrews University, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1949 to 1951 followed by work in repertory theatre and as a teacher when acting work dried up. He was best known for his long-running role in the radio comedy The Navy Lark from the 1950s onwards on which he worked with Jon Pertwee who he suggested should apply for the part of Doctor Who in 1969. He also appeared in The Forsyte Saga, The Sullavan Brothers, My Brother’s Keeper, One by One and The Two of Us. Stage work included roles in the West End in The Kitchen, The Keep, Hamlet and Ten Times Table.