David Spenser, who has died aged 79, was the predominant child radio star of the 1940s and 50s and will be best remembered for his portrayal on air of Just William. The author Richmal Crompton cast him in the role, in a series of dramatisations of her novels about the raucous but endearing 11-year-old outlaw.
This was in 1948, when David turned 14 and was already a seasoned radio actor – performing more than one play a week, he once told me. He had come into acting through a ruse set up by his ambitious mother and a BBC friend: he was lured into Broadcasting House and found himself in a studio being auditioned by the Children's Hour producer Josephine Plummer. For playing the lead in Just William he received the standard juvenile fee of four guineas