Ken Barrie, better known as the voice of Postman Pat and other characters of the famous children's series, has died at the age of 83.

Barrie was born Leslie Hulme in Tunstall in Stoke on Trent and got the job after a guitarist working on the show's music suggested he record his voice on tape.

He had never imagined that in 1981, he would be chosen for the series, which follows the adventures of a postman in the fictional village of Greendale.

His voice was used as the narrator, the postman and other characters from then until 2005.

He also famously sang the show's theme tune, which was released as a single and spent 15 weeks in the top 75.

His daughter Lorraine Peterson told the Press Association he had died peacefully at home in Denham, Buckinghamshire, of liver cancer.

Mrs Peterson said the family were celebrating Barrie's life, adding: "He was very proud of what he did for children but his legacy is not so much Postman Pat - he did a lot more and he loved singing after starting in the late 1950s."

Barrie also performed on an album with Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby and in advertising jingles for Smash and Martini.

Mrs Peterson said: "He was the master of different characters and voices.

"He was very reserved about what he did but he loved it and got to work with his heroes."

His greatest pride was reserved for his family, she said, describing them as "very close".

"He provided for us really well, but particularly his son and my brother Paul."

Paul became a sound engineer in the same industry but was killed in a road accident, aged 38.