Minor British Institutions: Last of the Summer Wine
Saturday 29 November 2008
The world's longest- running sit-com has been going so long we've almost forgotten about it. Peter Sallis – perhaps better known nowadays as the voice of Wallace, as in Wallace and Gromit – is the only survivor of the first trio of crazed pensioners that turned up in a "Comedy Playhouse" pilot in 1973. Sallis was then a mere 52 years of age. His character of Norman Clegg joined Bill Owen as scruffy old Compo Simmonite and the magnificent Michael Bates as Cyril Blamire.
Since the death of Bill Owen in 1999, the cast widened to include many refugees from an earlier age, such as Stephen Lewis (formerly Blakey), Frank Thornton (aka Captain Peacock), Jean Alexander (ex-Hilda Ogden) and even Norman Wisdom. Some 29 series, a couple of telly films and a "prequel" later, every episode is written, as it was in the beginning, by Roy Clarke and topped and tailed by that famous slow theme ... and Nora Batty (Kathy Staff) still hasn't unwrinkled her stockings. Last of the Summer Wine has turned whimsy into art.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Zayn Malik gives first interview since quitting One Direction: 'I've never felt more in control of my life'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
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