Wally Batty, 1975 – 1987
Last night saw Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge character crowned Britain’s Greatest Comedy Character on a special programme aired on GOLD. We thought we’d take an occasional look at some of those regular sitcom characters that give those lead characters the support, stealing plenty of laughs along the way.
Last Of The Summer Wine produced a whole host of characters but as it ran for so long some of the best support characters get forgotten.
In those early days the show followed a small circle of characters. The three leads, Blamire, then Foggy, Clegg and Compo, alongside Sid and Ivy, Wally and Nora Batty.
Wally Batty was the original reluctant husband. Married To Nora he felt marriage was so unfair, “marriage is so unfair” he tells Nora. “youu’re only married to me but look how much I’m maried to”. His scenes in the show were some of the best.
The character was named as Harold in the pilot episode, but subsequently it was changed to Wally for the series. After a few early mentons the character is first seen in 1975, generally seen doing chores or trying to escape to short leash held by Nora.
He had a passion for his racing pigeons and was quite happy at the prospect of Compo running off with Nora, indeed he encouraged the idea, telling Compo “I’ll deliver….gift wrapped”
The character is one of those from that classic era where the writing absolutely fitted the actor who brought him to life. Joe Gladwin was a perfect fit for Wally Batty his light frame and short height worked so well against his taller, bigger framed screen wife Nora. It was a sad los when in 1987 he passed away. Whilst the character didn’t get an on screen send off he would continue to get the odd mention in the series.