Last of the Summer Wine by Andrew Vine
The Inside Story of the World's Longest-Running Comedy Series

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The definitive guide to the longest running comedy program in the world, complete with dozens of new interviews with cast and crew


It premiered 27 years ago, in 1973, and, after 30 series it is still going strong. Remarkably for a series of such longevity and international appeal, it is all about elderly people, has little action or plot, and is set and filmed in and around the small Yorkshire village of Holmfirth. Now the deputy editor of Yorkshire’s daily newspaper has written the definitive history of this television phenomenon, with the full cooperation of series inventor and scriptwriter Roy Clarke. It covers the show’s inauspicious beginnings, with low ratings; its endless reinvention as participants like Bill Owen, Michael Bates, Brian Wilde, and Kathy Staff retired or died; the appearance of a string of guest stars from John Cleese and Norman Wisdom to Thora Hird and Russ Abbott (both of whom soon found themselves fixtures in the cast); and the ingenious plot contrivances as the protagonists became too old and frail to attempt any of the slapstick stunts with runaway prams—indeed any outdoor action. Now the series has been running so long that the endless intrigue as to whether it will be recommissioned has become a story in itself. What is certain is that endless repeats, and DVD box sets, will ensure a readership for this book for years to come.


About Andrew Vine

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Andrew Vine is deputy editor of the Yorkshire Post.
Published October 19, 2010 by Aurum Press. 256 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment.

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