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Last of the Summer Wine

576 of 1160 nominations


Last of the Summer Wine

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Last of the Summer Wine

Roy Clarke’s gentle sitcom about the escapades of three retired men enjoying a second childhood began on November 12, 1973, thus making it the world’s longest-running comedy series — and it still pulls in around 4 million viewers an episode.

Set in and around Holmfirth, Yorkshire, the two main characters were widower Norman Clegg or "Cleggy" (Peter Sallis) and the scruffy and lascivious William "Compo" Simmonite (Bill Owen). The third member of their group acted as unofficial leader, starting with the pompous Cyril Blamire (Michael Bates, 1973-1975). He was replaced by ex-corporal Walter "Foggy" Dewhurst (Brian Wilde, 1976–1985). The latest third man is retired police officer Herbert "Truly" Truelove (Frank Thornton).

After the death of Bill Owen in 1999, Owen's real life son, Tom Owen, joined the cast, playing Tom Simmonite, Compo's long-lost son. Ironically, the series’ most memorable character has been the saggy-stockings-clad Nora Batty (Kathy Staff), Compo’s neighbour and object of his unrequited affection. Kathy Staff, like Sallis, has been in the show since its very first series.

Photo: Jackie H South


Your comments

Last of the Summer Wine is the world's longest running situation comedy, now approaching its 35th year and popular worldwide - even the rare repeats fetch audiences larger than The Office at its most popular. Estimated world fan-base - in excess of 30 million! And the whole family can watch - no violence, no sex and it invariably takes place in daylight so you can see what's happening! - And it is British and pulls in thousands of visitors a year to Yorkshire and beyond.

Pat Carline

I have been watching The Last of the Summerwine literally since I was born in 1978. I have seen EVERY episode, as well as any special one-off programmes about it. I've been taping it since the 1999 series, have taped other episodes from the past series and have bought all the DVDs. Even my 3-year-old loves it, she goes to sleep if I hum the tune. This programme is not just part of my life, it has been my life. If they ever ended the series, it would be like losing my oldest friend. I also had a thing for Tom on arrival, not sure anyone else my age (29) agrees that there's something sexy about Entwhistle??
Donna Mcdonald

Longest running sitcom ever. Great comedy.
P Hogan

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My nomination is the garden shed.