A man who died on a Hampshire beach has been named as a retired TV director and former actor who appeared in The Dambusters.

Ronald Wilson, 84, is thought to have suffered a heart attack after going for a dip off Milford on Sea last week.

Mr Wilson, who was on holiday with his wife Gay, was pulled out of the sea by a member of the public.

An off-duty paramedic who rushed to his aid was joined by the crew of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, but the pensioner could not be saved.

Mrs Wilson said: “I didn't know he had heart disease but I knew he was failing.

“I want to thank the many people who took care of him, including visitors to the beach and paramedics, for their compassion and hard work. I felt surrounded by angels.”

Mr Wilson, who lived in London, had a distinguished film and television career spanning four decades.

He worked on several TV series, including The Pallisers, The Mallens and Lives of Girls and Women as well as directing episodes of EastEnders and Coronation Street.

In 1955 he played Flight Lieutenant Shannon in The Dambusters, the film about a squadron of Lancaster bombers who launched a devastating raid on Germany's industrial heartland during World War Two.

In later years Mr Wilson became a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.