Britain’s Unsung Comedy Heroes – Part 3…
It’s Eli from Last Of The Summer Wine!
Whilst Eli was never a main cast character in the hit sitcom his regular appearances between 1987 and 2002 never failed to raise a smile.
Eli Duckett was an extremely short-sighted bumbler. However he always kept a highly cheerful, friendly attitude even though he had no idea what was going on around him.
Played brilliantly by Danny O’Dea the character was originally brought in as a friend of Wally Batty, although they only appeared together in one episode: “Jaws” in 1987. However the character was so popular that when Joe Gladwin died the Eli character remained with the show.
For much of his time in the series, Eli also had a Jack Russell dog in one scene this went missing, leading Eli to mistake a sheep for the dog.
Usually we only see Eli in brief cameo appearances, walking into a scene and commenting on his near-sighted interpretation of the action, and then walking off again. On other occasions we would see him walking into slapstick (and carefully choreographed) mishaps such as walking into the back of a lorry and over the tops of cars, or falling into a skip. One of the running gags throughout the series would see Eli go into a pub pick up the darts and the pub empty!
Eli made his last appearance in 2002, sadly in 2003 Danny O’Dea who played him died.