Friday, 18 June 2010

Last of Last of the Summer Wine

The BBC announced recently that Last of the Summer Wine will run one more series before ending later this year.

The show is actually the longest running sitcom in the world, having been on air for 37 years, and even when it started in 1973 the cast and crew can't have been spring chickens, so it's pretty amazing that people like Peter Sallis, now 89, still appear on the show. Some actors, such as Sallis, no longer appear in outdoor scenes though, because it's apparently too expensive to get insurance for actors over the age of 80.

The era of Last of the Summer Wine which I remember most fondly was the one with Foggy, Compo and Clegg, as seen in the video above and which ran through much of show's life. I think these three characters together held the perfect balance, and the other groups of actors that passed through the show haven't quite had the same chemistry as these guys. Still, part of the show's charm was its sedentary pace and predictability, so the storylines or sentiment never really changed throughout the years.

The program isn't something I've watched lately, but I remember watching it every Sunday evening with my family when I was a kid. Despite the age of the actors - the whole town seems to be inhabited by pensioners - it was a show that people of all years could enjoy, as it felt like these old men were acting like kids most of the time. Our family appreciated it especially because of it's Yorkshire setting as well.

I remember the very first time I watched it I was puzzled over the name, asking my dad why it was called Last of the Summer Wine if it wasn't the last ever episode. Well, now that time is here, but to be fair the show has had a good run, and I'm sure there'll be countless repeats on the BBC and Sky for years to come. Also, check out this 8-bit remix of the theme tune I came across on YouTube.

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