Caractacus Potts’ father has gone off for his last cup of tea with the maharajah: British actor and director Lionel Jeffries has died aged 83. Most remembered on screen for portraying Dick Van Dyke’s dad in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jeffries was a fine actor, perhaps more famous for his comic roles (Two Way Stretch, The Wrong Arm Of The Law, Rocket To The Moon and Ray Harryhausen’s First Men In The Moon, among 70 film titles), who later became a writer-director of the classic adaptation of E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children and other children’s films including the part animated Wombling Free and The Water Babies. The Guardian has posted a warm obituary, and the UK’s Telegraph has more.