Brother's tribute to 'gentle and modest' soap star after death aged 54

Jarl and Andrew Barnes, who both hail from Dereham, pictured together in Oslo, Norway

Jarl (left) and Andrew Barnes, who both hail from Dereham, pictured together in Oslo, Norway - Credit: Courtesy of Jarl Barnes

A Norfolk man who carved out a successful career as an actor in Norway has died at the age of 54. 

Andrew Barnes, who spent much of his childhood in Dereham, was considered a television star in the Scandinavian nation having appeared in Hotel Caesar for nine years.

He played office manager Andrew Blom-Gabrielsen in the popular soap opera from 2003 to 2012. 

Andrew Barnes, who has died at the age of 54. He grew up in the Dereham area before moving to Norway

Andrew Barnes, who has died at the age of 54. He grew up in the Dereham area before moving to Norway - Credit: Courtesy of Jarl Barnes

His brother, Jarl Barnes, said Andrew died earlier this week after contracting pneumonia. After battling cancer in recent years, he had developed a weak immune system which left him vulnerable to other illnesses.

The siblings had also experienced the heartbreak of losing both their parents in the past 12 months. 

"I was so glad because he had fought and beat cancer, but it was pneumonia that got him," said Jarl. 

"I visited him in Oslo a couple of weeks ago and he looked so well. That is why this has come as such a shock.

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"I am just pleased our mum and dad weren't around to see this." 

Andrew and Jarl's parents met in Norway during the 1960s, while their dad was stationed there with the RAF. 

With the family having returned to England, Andrew was born in 1967 while they lived at the base in Swanton Morley. His new life in Norway began as a 12-year-old in 1980 after his mother decided she wanted to return to her homeland. 

While he excelled academically, Andrew had, by this point, developed an intense passion for theatre. 

In between attending the University of Oslo, he performed in countless plays and shows, before eventually becoming a household name in Hotel Caesar. 

"From a young age he loved the theatre and anything theatrical," added Jarl, who enjoyed watching Doctor Who with his brother. 

"I'll always remember the time he came in crying after seeing the Tin Man go rusty in the Wizard of Oz.

"He was well-known in Norway - a real superstar, but he was so modest about it all; so gentle and unassuming. 

"It was me who would shout about him. I would do the big brother thing and rave about my little brother, and he would just tell me to shut up!

"There would not be anyone on the planet with a bad word to say about Andrew."