R.I.P. Cleggy

Last of the Summer Wine - S01 E01 - Short Back and Palais Glide

the last of the summer wine.

Sad news that Peter Sallis has died, though at a good age of 96.

Over a third of those 96 years he spent playing Norman Clegg in Last Of The Summer Wine – he was the only one to appear in all 295 episodes of the longest running comedy series on telly – and with his passing it mean all of the original regular cast now are gone.

Compo, Cleggy and Blamire with Sid and Ivy in the Cafe and Shagnasty and Mrs. Partridge at the library and Nora Batty next door.

Most people think of the Foggy era when they think of the show and of soft Sunday night telly of three old blokes doing stupid things. But those first couple of series were different, better.

Three old blokes doing nowt, well apart from drinking, smoking, swearing and getting thrown out of places. Swearing? Yes, Blamire didn’t always call Compo a “little scruffy ‘erbert” sometimes it was a “little scruffy twat”, though unfortunately with the American pronunciation – rhymes with what. (about 7:40 into “Northern Flying Circus”). Even Cleggy got in on the act about 22 mins into “Some Enchanted Evening”.

Also when I say doing nowt they did do things, though in that first two series it was Cleggy who was at the forefront a number of times. He wanted to do stuff, wasn’t the meek, cowardly Clegg of the later episodes, even more sarcastic in them days.

You never saw the original series repeated much years back, actually had to go to the States to see it. My uncle, a Yank, loved it to death.

But when you saw Sallis in anything and he did a number of things before and during “Last”, you thought that’s Cleggy. Except when he was Wallace.

All the Nick Parks Wallace & Gromit films are classics, from a “Grand Day Out” through “The Wrong Trousers” – probably the best – “A Close Shave”, “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” to “A Matter of Loaf and Death”.

Sallis had the perfect voice for the man who thought he owned Gromit. “Cracking cheese, Gromit”

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