David Lyon, who has died aged 72, was a popular and versatile actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company for two decades. He once played a serious criminal in the television series Midsomer Murders, and a taxi driver who recognised him in Brighton, where Lyon lived, said that he'd just put a call through to the local police station. This was a mark, perhaps, of Lyon's ease and naturalness on stage and on screen, where he popped up regularly in such series as The Bill, Lovejoy, Taggart, Poirot and as the thoroughly decent prime minister, Henry "Hal" Collingridge, in the original 1990 BBC version of House of Cards, held secretly in contempt by Ian Richardson's duplicitous Francis Urquhart. He was always someone you would recognise.
Lyon was a late developer in the professional theatre, coming from a long association with two