THE death of the actor Peter Wyngarde, who has died at the age 90, has prompted memories of the time that the actor who inspired the Austin Power's character was once upstaged by a chimp called Judy while opening Falmouth's new Tesco store, writes Leah Marshall.

Peter was best known for his role as detective Jason King in the TV show of the same name, a spin off from the previous show called Detective S.

In 1972, at the height of his career, he came to Falmouth alongside Judy, a Brooke Bond Chimp, to open up the new Tesco store on Killigrew Street.

Falmouth local, Lloyd Pond, recalls when Wyngarde came down for the grand opening. He was working at the Royal Duchy Hotel where Judy the chimp and her handler were staying.

They had jointly opened the store with Mr Wyngarde. Mr Pond was tasked with showing them where to park their Volkswagen campervan in the hotel's garage and posing for a picture with the chimp for the Packet. The van had a mini bedroom for Judy the chimp with a cage installed inside so that she couldn’t distract the driver. “After they had settled in, I was told to get the tray of tea and make it look like I was offering afternoon tea to the chimp,” said Mr Pond. "There wasn’t any liquid in there but the bowl was full of sugar lumps, as he was posing for the Packet."

The heart-throb stayed at The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, and was well known for his flamboyant dress sense - it is said he partly inspired Mike Myers’ character Austin Powers.

He also enjoyed numerous stage roles and appeared as Klytus in Flash Gordon and as Timanov in Doctor Who: Planet of Fire.