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  • I was a big fan of this series before i appeared in it. I still get letters and cards from fans despite leaving the show in 1988. Roy Clarke is one of the greatest comedy writers of his generation, he explores the British class system, old age, and the relationships between Yorshiremen and the Women they love brilliantly. The early shows were about boredom, retirement, life in Yorkshire and friendship between men of differing backgrounds. When the show was taken over by Alan J W Bell ,who produced and directed all the episodes i appeared in, the comedy broadened. Wonderful slapstick and unlikely romance became the strong central themes. In 1987 the show regularly had viewing figures just below 20 Million, and it continues to have a cult following to this day. I made some wonderful friends on the series too, Jane Freeman (who played my Auntie Ivy), Bill Owen (who i sadly miss) Peter Sallis (who taught me so much when we worked on stage together) Thora Hird (who told great stories of her early life in the Co-op as a sales assistant) Joe Gladwyn (who told me the most wonderful tales of early music hall and variety shows) to name just a few... I think one of the best qualities of this show is that anyone of any age can watch it and find something amusing, popular family entertainment is rare these days and this is a gem.
  • Running since the dawn of time, Last of the Summer Wine is one of the mot reliable elements of the BBC's output. Featuring wonderful actors in unique roles, it's ideal viewing for sitting down with the Sunday tea. It's warm, sentimental and old-fashioned. That every episode seems to end with a couple of OAPs rolling down a hillside in a tin bath on wheels is neither here nor there: it's charming and friendly. Spiky edges are provided by Dame Thora Hird, the wondrous Kathy Staff, and Jane Freeman, and the series is not challenging viewing. Harmless. The kind of telly you could watch with your granny. That most of the cast are your granny's age is another joy. Hardly cutting edge, and guaranteed to run until the end of the world, Last of the Summer Wine is truly immortal.
  • The best sitcom ever.

    I said that several years ago and nothing that has happened to it, or to other sitcoms, has changed my view.

    The scripts are funny in themselves. Add a perfect ensemble of actors, faultless direction and wonderful background music and one gets, quite simply, the best ever.

    Some of the situations are predictable, some slight, some bizarre. But that is life as we know it, and is all lends to the strength of the series. And it is to reasurring to know I cannot be alone, just look at the dates!
  • The quality of 'Summer Wine' is reflected in its longevity and ongoing popularity.I consider myself fortunate that, having once lived near Holmfirth, the small Yorkshire town where the action was set, during the 1980's,I had the opportunity to sample at first hand, the various locations and was fortunate in seeing the filming of some of the earlier episodes. There may be some support for my view that the earlier episodes, which featured 'Blamire'( Michael Bates)as one of the three leading characters, were characterised by the interplay between these three characters,expressed in terms of dialogue rather than the 'comic' situations which became a feature of later episodes, coupled with the development of other characters who played little or no part in the first series. I consider that the quality of the scripwriting suffered as a result of the changes, particularly when the focus moved away from the central trio. Nevertheless, the programme maintained its popularity over many years and developed almost a cult following. Curiously, though, this popularity was not wholly shared by the population of Holmfirth, who saw the programme as a mixed blessing when the interest generated by the programme resulted in an influx of sightseers into their small, quiet narrow streeted town, with predictable results. Suffice it to say that while one or two enterprising people benefitted from the publicity, the sightseer were, it must be said, disappointed with the fact that there was very little to see of real interest and, of course, the 'characters' were nowhere to be seen. That the programme retained its popularity for so long can only be explained by how well the characters created the illusion of three eccentric old men enjoying their freedom in nostalgic adventures in beautiful surroundings where the sun always appeared to smile on them (the grim reality of the harsh Holmfirth climate being conspicuous by its absence) The secondary characters were always believable and the humour was, by and large, unsophisticated and free from innuendo, reasons, perhaps, for its acceptance in the context it was presented. It may be that the reason for the success of the programme is that it presents a world that no longer exists, a set of endearing characters,lost in their own little world, steeped in a kind of rural simplicity from which the harsh values and events of the real world are permanently excluded,playing the sort of schoolboy adventures in which we may, at one time, have all shared. Their hopes and doubts, dreams and uncertainties running through the tapestry of their lives, played out for us with a skill which belies the simplicity of the message that the programme conveys.
  • Simply put, this show has been my favorite discovery of late and I am definitely going to try and purchase each and every one of the episodes and specials if possible.

    It has really not been done justice by the other comment here. I am absolutely in love with this show.

    I had no idea it has been around as long as it has. Apparently the longest running show in England and possibly most anywhere.

    With good reason as you will see if you watch a couple of episodes.

    These gentlemen trying to recapture their youth are so funny and endearing
  • My father got me hooked on this series, after he mentioned how much he enjoyed it. A local PBS station was running it, and I just fell in love with the three old men and their antics. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Peter Sallis is also the voice of Wallace, as in "Wallace & Grommit" -- another personal favorite. My biggest frustration is that our PBS station stopped running it, the BBC has only released one set of tapes, and that is criminal for a show that's been on the air for 30 years! For gentle, character driven comedies, this show cannot be beat. Also, the scenery is beautiful. All those rural, rustic shots of the English countryside are gorgeous.
  • When we first started to watch this show we were in our 30's which put the actors at around 50 years of age, As I am sure most of you "younguns" out there of 30 or under will testify, 50 is an age you yourselves will never be, just as we thought then, how wrong we were, Time shoots by so very quickly that here we are 30 odd years later and still avid fans. Last of the Summer Wine was and still is wonderful viewing if you prefer your television to not be peppered with unnecessary expletives nor have endless closeups of moving bed-clothes and sundry body parts. This was a story of 3 middle-aged men who still had their wits and humour about them and most of all loved to laugh. The fact that you knew in advance the slide down the hill on a tray or running with a kite being pulled by Wesleys "jeep" would always end in disaster for one or the other of the trio was part of the attraction and still is. Viewing the programme now with many new actors in the cast, due mainly to the demise of the original cast members, is just a reflection of life and death but the humour, fun and sheer joy of living is still there despite the fact that Norman Clegg still professes to find it difficult to talk to women or for that matter anyone except his close compatriots. Now in our mid 60's my husband and I still love this programme and will always watch the repeats which are, fortunately for us, now running on cable TV. A toast to the Summer Wine-- Long may it Last-.
  • Several of listeners or watchers felt the series would not be as good without Compo. But this is not the case. We in Australia are seeing on UK TV, a pay channel, The new episodes from 2002 to 2004. BBC listeners are now seeing the new 2005 series.

    Unfortunately UK TV does not have the rights to episodes from 1973 to 2001. It is the greatest show ever and Roy Clark is a genius, he also wrote "Keeping up Appearances" I have both DDVs from Amazon.A hope some of the old episodes will soon appear. There is a ready market out there.

    The great strength of British sitcoms over American is the small number of episodes made each year. Let us hope Roy does not tire of the series.
  • grrrr9724 April 2002
    This programme has been one of British televisions centre pieces since the first pilot episode. With wonderful performances from Bill owen as the scruffy, gambleing, Nora Loving, loveable Compo and Peter Sallis as Clegg a widower who is terrified of anything female, but is more immature than your average child at Christmas. Plus brilliant supporting actors like Michael Bates (Clockwork Orange), Brian Wilde, John Comer, Joe Gladwin, Jane Freeman and Kathy "Nora" Staff.

    It might on the face of things seem like a comedy for older people but it's anything but, young people love to see older people being immature (e.g)Monty Python. The scripts in the early series where quite wonderful with the setting, timing and situation right it was always going to be what it is........One of the most loveable and enjoyed Sit-coms to ever be made, I know thats said a lot but with this 30 year old gem it's true.
  • This programme is one of the best about and it certainly has been about for quite a while. Very sadly one of the funniest and most active comedians I have ever seen Bill Owen died recently, but although he was almost the main character in the show I'm certainly glad that for Bills memory that the show has continued.One of the great things about the show is that just about all of the actors in the show have made their mark in other comedy's and other shows, yet they all seem like they have been in the show from the start, for example Jean Alexander spent many years as Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street and Stephen Lewis was well known as Blakey in On The Buses. Take a look at this show and I think you will be glad you did.
  • I was only a casual viewer of this program until I heard it described as "the story of three elderly men who carry on like teenagers." From that moment, I was hooked and have enjoyed every minute of it!

    It's a shame that this program wouldn't be given a chance on the commercial networks in the U.S., what with the way they target younger audiences.
  • Last of the Summer Wine doesn't come on until 11 pm on the local PBS station, but it's always worth the lack of sleep.

    It's a rare comedy nowadays that can be genuinely funny without being crude. The three old men at the center of the show are constantly involved in antics worthy of Lucille Ball. The wide array of supporting characters are representative of real-life characters to be found in any small town in any country, which is probably why it appeals to me, a girl from a small town in the Midwestern United States.

    It's heartwarming, funny, and for the entire family. What more could you want?
  • mark_ashurst18 October 2001
    A true testament to the writing of Roy Clarke,that a small Sitcom can last for 30 years. So many times under used and sorely underrated by the BBC the show has always come out on top with its viewing figures.

    Can it continue??

    Yes of course it can…….long gone are the days when the show centred around the goings on of three old men with nothing to do with the day. The show has now become almost a comedy soap opera with a massive number of characters that are all vitally important to the plot. With British TV legends such as Dame Thora Hird, Jean Alexandra, Stephen Lewis & Dora Bryan to name but a few the show can only get stronger.
  • J-19848 August 2001
    This comedy series is incerdible, it has been going for almost 30 years. The thing that makes it so good is that is WAS exellent entertainment. However since the departure of Bill Owen and now Kathy Staff I cannot see the series lasting for very much longer, as the element that gripped viewers was the will-they-wont-they storyline between Compo (Bill Owen) and Nora Batty (Kathy Staff). Not to mention Truly (Frank Thornton) is nowhere near as funny as Foggy (Brian Wilde). If you ever get a chance to catch this program on the telly, make sure it's one of the old series, then sit back and enjoy!
  • vibeke-211 November 1999
    This is by far the best British comedy ever shown in the US. The relationships between the characters are real and the humor of the show comes from this fact. The idea of a show about three old men who come up with such outrageous things to do with their time is pure genius. No wonder it's lasted so long.
  • After awhile of leaving it on between British comedies on American PBS, I grew to enjoy and like watching this television show. The characters like Compo and his relationship with Nora Batty is quite hysterical. It's great to watch Frank Thornton back in comedy again as Truelove. Of course, Thora Hird is my favorite British acting dame. At almost ninety years old, she is still beautiful, sweet, and brilliant in her role as Edie. The show is more like comedic serial than a sitcom. There is the ongoing secret courtship between married Howard and single attractive golden girl, Marina. Then there is the annoying happy marriage between Glenda and Barry. It's almost nauseating to hear Glenda speak so highly of her Barry to her mother and their friends over tea as they discuss husbands with the suspicious Pearl, the widowed Nora and Ivy. Of course, it's wonderful to watch Auntie Wainwright as an antique seller in the small town. It's a delight to watch Jean Alexander thrive in this role. In fact everybody thrives in their roles on this long running British comedy. In fact, I don't mind growing old. The show gives me something to look forward too now. I am sad about Bill Owen's death but the show still manages to go on with his son. I just wish he would chase after Nora Batty now who left. Even though the characters come and go, there are now new refreshing characters. When I go to England next time, I will definitely stop in Holmfirth, England, outside of Manchester to visit this charming little Yorkshire town.
  • It's so hard not to get nostalgic about Last of the Summer Wine, it conjures up Sunday evenings with my Gran, ham sandwiches, coconut macaroons, just a wonderfully warm, comforting feeling.

    People argue the show isn't full of laughs, I disagree it was fun to watch with all the family. Wonderful characters one and all, from the original line up of regulars , Compo, Cleggy and Blamire, through Foggy, Truly etc. To the wonderful characters we'd come to love, Nora Batty, Ivy, Howard and Marina, Edie, Auntie Wainwright, Smiler etc, the wonderful Eli!!

    The golden era for me would always be the trio of Compo, Cleggy and Foggy, the trio worked beautifully well together, complementing one another so well.

    The Christmas specials were always an extra special treat. Merry Christmas, Father Christmas is just brilliant.

    No surprises that it ran as long as it did, it had scarily high viewing figures in its prime. I was gutted it ended when it did, but all good things must come to an end.

    A shining gem, 9/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sitting watching an early episode (with Michael Bates - if you ever watch it, you'll know this really means 'early') sitting in Reno, Nevada made me look at the reviews of this wonderful show. OK, it's not cutting edge (whatever that means), it has no dramatic twists, it has little or no bad language (some of the early episodes did have some), it is devoid of some of the tawdry innuendo of series like Two and a Half Men and definitely does not have the stag-night humour of Sex in the City (but it does have humorous scenes about innocent, nothing-ever-happens relationships featuring Nora and Compo plus Marina and Howard). I started to watch this when I was 21 and thought it brilliant. As I got older I thought it evocative of what was and what would be. Now, as I near 60, I enjoy re-runs the same way as I watch re-runs of M*A*S*H - I watch a comedy which is out of the ordinary. LOTSW relies on human interaction of a type which really exists in Northern England, where political correctness is irrelevant, sarcasm and irony is the norm and no-one expects it any other way. Simply put, LOTSW, is real, 'nice', Northern humour.
  • yomuddx29 August 2018
    Im a young adult, and my grandmother told me about this program on Oklahoma Public Broadcasting Network (OETA) I love this show and never miss a episode. Ive looked up most of the cast on the net and read their bios. What a wonderful bunch of characters. I know most of them have passed away and that saddens me, but I will continue to be their greatest fan. GOD BLESS
  • It was aired in Canada a long time ago. I decided to buy the full series and I was not disappointed. I love the characters, and the situations. It is brilliant! My daughter and I watch the dvd's together and we laugh so much.We love the props they use in every episode. We love Foggy, Compo and Cleggy. Just a brilliant show!
  • There are very few TV programs that I would rush home to see, but this is one of them. I first discovered this rambling series when it was shown weekdays in the early afternoon. When no attempt was made to show more than a few episodes I thought it would be nothing more than a pleasant memory, but recently two stations started showing the program. The fact that the series has run on British TV for many years is proof of its lasting quality. I certainly tip my hat to Roy Clarke who I understand is the one responsible for creating the series. Who could imagine that a series would be made showing the daily experiences of three elderly men together with a supporting cast of equally elderly actors. Each has developed their own particular characterisation and it is a joy each episode to observe them at work.
  • This in one of my favourite programmes and always has been. The idea of having a series about three old men who are completely free was pure genius. The fact that the series is still running today is testament to this. The wonderful scripts of Roy Clark and the performances of the actors, particularly Bill Owen as Compo, really make this wonderful series an all time classic. Why an American version was never made I do not know, as I think it would have worked very well.
  • I had read about "Last of the Summer Wine" in a number of articles, and was familiar with some of the cast members (particularly those in the later series) before I ever got to see this waste of electricity. I have great admiration for the British, and for many of their situation comedies and dramas, but how this show stayed on for nearly forty years is one of television's great mysteries to me. The plots are simplistic; the characters ridiculously broad and stereotyped; but maybe worst of all, it's the same dumb show year after year after year. Stupid ideas from equally stupid characters. How many times can something that didn't work when you were 13 seem like a good thing to try when you're 73? Was it the fact that virtually the entire cast consisted of veteran actors what made this a hit in England? While it's nice to see them keep working, it would be better to see them in a show that was complimentary to an older actor, i.e.; "As Time Goes By."
  • dg016 August 2001
    This is without a doubt my favorite television series. The writing is brilliant and witty and the characters are hilarious. It would be wonderful if all television programs these days were as clean and clever as Last of the Summer Wine.
  • I wonder just how much of this brilliant series the BBC have retained in their archives. I have seen a great many episodes over the years. That the series is as old as me is quite surprising. Another surprise, of course, is that most of the leading actors are from SE England, but speak in the series with Yorkshire accents even I as a Yorkshireman find highly convincing. The idea of three (although not always the same three) old men still yearning for that buzz of youth, and, to all intents and purposes, actually getting it, may seem a strange concept for comedy, but Roy Clarke has pulled off a master stroke here. I am not sure the later episodes are as good, without Bill Owen.
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