Actor known for Butterflies and Coronation Street

Born: January 19 1954;

Died: May 20, 2019

ANDREW Hall, who has died aged 65, became well-known in the late Seventies when he played one of the disenchanted and rebellious teenagers in Carla Lane’s classic television sitcom Butterflies. With a star cast (Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer and, as his brother, Nicholas Lyndhurst) Hall captured the frustrations of teenage life.

His career then blossomed in both the theatre and television and eight years ago he set the tills at the Rovers Return spinning when he joined Coronation Street playing the role of Marc Selby, the transvestite lover of Audrey Roberts.

Andrew James Hall was born in Manchester but brought up in Surrey. He attended the Royal Grammar School in Guildford displaying a keen interest in the theatre – playing Romeo in the school play. He left at 17 and was employed as a stagehand and fly man at the Northcote Theatre, Exeter before training at the Lamda Theatre School.

His first job on graduating was the part of Russell in Butterflies. With his handsome appearance and wild mane of hair he contrasted with Lyndhurst’s slender, quieter Beatle mop hair-do. They created strong characters that infuriated both Craig’s sexually repressed mother and Palmer’s constantly disgruntled father. The series was hugely popular and ran for five years from 1978.

Hall then joined the RSC for the 1984-85 season playing Osric to Roger Rees’s Hamlet, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Flute in Sheila Hancock’s touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2008 he demonstrated his musical skills with an 18-month stint playing Bill in the hit musical Mamma Mia! in the West End.

He also had a very active career as a producer and director. In 2000 he formed a producing company with the former star of Howard’s Way Tracey Childs. Their productions included Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Trafalgar Studios. He directed the original production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Haunting Julia starring Christopher Timothy which toured Scotland in 2011. Other visits to Scotland was as Hall’s bemused Richard Greatham in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever with Stephanie Beacham and in Michael Frayn’s back stage romp Noises Off starring Neal Pearson and Maureen Beattie in 2013.

Hay Fever opened in Windsor and on the first night Hall was about to seduce Beacham when a naked man suddenly appeared in the third row of the stalls singing happy birthday. Beauchamp and Hall calmly raised a glass and carried on pretending nothing untoward had happened.

After Butterflies, Hall was seen in a variety of television dramas (Brookside, Casualty, EastEnders, Holby City etc) and won praise for his account of the evangelist Billy Graham in Sky Arts’ Nixon’s the One. In 2017 Hall took the role of The Gentleman in Blood Drive, an American science fiction drama that aired on Syfy.

In 2011 he did seven months in Coronation Street and gave a memorable, and very sympathetic, account of Marc Selby: a very proper-appearing wine merchant who had a wild affair with Audrey (Sue Nicholls). What gave the relationship an extra zip was that Hall’s character was a transvestite and when rumours circulated around Weatherfield that Selby had been seen in bars dressed as ‘Marcia’ the cover was blown. Amidst high drama Hall arrived in full drag and flowing blonde wig in the Rovers Return. Rita and Audrey’s eyes were out on stalks. It was, however, a subtle and careful performance by Hall and won him much acclaim.

Hall is survived by his wife Abigail and their two children.