Comedy writer Ronnie Wolfe dies

 

Comedy writer Ronnie Wolfe, one of the creators of TV comedy classic On The Buses and many other sitcoms, has died at the age of 89.

Along with his writing partner Ronnie Chesney, Wolfe created much-loved catchphrases such as "I'll get you, Butler" in the series set in a London bus depot.

Chesney - whose partnership led to the duo being known as the "the other Two Ronnies" - said it was "like losing my brother".

The pair worked with some of Britain's most popular comic actors over the years, including Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor, Beryl Reid, Dame Thora Hird and Benny Hill.

But Wolfe will be best remembered for the saucy comedy On The Buses and The Rag Trade, starring Miriam Karlin, who also died in June.

The writer died yesterday as a result of banging his head on Thursday after falling down stairs at a respite home in London.

His son-in-law Arif Hussein, married to Mr Wolfe's daughter Kathryn, said he was a "wonderful" man.

"He was the kind of father-in-law most people dream about, absolutely.

"Most people talk about their in-laws as people who are interfering, but to me my in-laws were a dream. Ronnie was, from day one, he was absolutely wonderful."

On The Buses was commissioned by ITV after being rejected by the BBC, despite the success of the writer's earlier show The Rag Trade. They created unforgettable characters such as Reg Varney's bus driver Stan Butler, Blakey the fist-shaking inspector, and romeo conductor Jack Harper.

The success also led to spin-off films.

Wolfe had been a radio engineer, then moved into scriptwriting in the 1950s, when he and Chesney created the ventriloquism comedy series Educating Archie.

In 1961 they launched BBC series The Rag Trade - later revived 16 years later by ITV - featuring the well-worn catchphrase "Everybody out!" from bolshy shop steward Karlin.

Other popular shows included Meet The Wife with Dame Thora and Don't Drink The Water, which featured Blakey, played by Stephen Lewis. Less celebrated shows included Yus, My Dear starring Arthur Mullard and Take A Letter Mr Jones, with John Inman.

Paying tribute to his partner, Mr Chesney said: "We were together 50 years - it's like losing my brother."

Wolfe's family also spoke warmly of the grandfather of four's life.

His wife Rose said it had been an "unexpectedly sad end for a guy who was so funny in life".

"He was the most incredible husband and we had 58 years of superb marriage harmony," she said.

"I acted as his secretary and PA and typed and computed for him, doing all the work he ever put out."

Wolfe had two daughters, Debbie, 52, and Kathryn, 55, a university lecturer.

Kathryn said: "My fondest memories of my dad are that he was the funniest, most generous person I could have wished to have.

"He was funny in public, with the huge legacy left behind, and funny in private.

"We are going through boxes of funny letters he wrote to me as a child.

"I couldn't have wished to have a better father."

PA

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree is to be made into a series of films
film

Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree really is being made into a film

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
books

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Deputy Head of Science

£36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...

IT Teacher

£22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London