As originally reported here not too long ago (as an evil, unconfirmed, rumor), the longest running sitcom in television history, Last of the Summer Wine, is shutting the doors on Sid’s Cafe. That evil, unconfirmed rumor is now confirmed by the BBC. The series will not be renewed for a 32nd season and will end after the 31st season transmits in the UK this summer. There will be six episodes in the 31st and final series that has become the British comedy poster-child for gentle, English humor over the years.
While there have been numerous actors that have come and gone over the years, one can never forget the folded-armed image and look of Kathy Staff, who played Nora Batty from the programs inception in 1973 until her death in 2008. Peter Sallis, who played Clegg, appeared in every episode beginning with that 1973 pilot. At 91, he’s probably ready for some down time to rest before taking on another series.
Unfortunately, the announcement was not met with that same gentility across the UK as both actors and fans voiced their anger over the decision, many accusing the BBC of ageism given its obvious popularity with the over-50 crowd.
When we spoke with Roy Clarke, who wrote every episode of Last of the Summer Wine, back in September, he alluded to the fact that this might be the last season, but wasn’t sure. There definitely was a touch of sadness in his voice as he talked about characters that had been part of his life for 37 years. Interesting story as to how he approached the series from the beginning as the only writer, but you’ll have to wait until the British comedy writers special comes to PBS and KERA in March 2011.
Aside from some of the most wonderful scenery and genius scripts, here are some great trivia bits associated with LOTSW over the years.