Last Of The Summer Wine – The Russ Abbott Years, 2008
At the end of 2008 certain cast members had got to an age where it was difficult to get insurance for them. It was decided to introduce a new character: Hobo as played by Russ Abbott. This New Year Special was his first appearance. He would form a new trio with Alvin and Entwhistle enabling the older cast members Frank Thornton and Peter Sallis to reduce to indoor scenes only. It was at this time that the future of the program hung very much in the balance. Producers hoped that a new younger trio would integrate into the show and breath new life into it.
Russ Abbott’s character would stay with the show for it’s final two series.
Stella arrives to look after Nora Batty’s house whilst she is in Australia. Howard has a new next door neighbour, retired milkman and former MI5 secret agent Luthor ‘Hobo’ Hobdyke. Calling upon his MI5 experience Hobo decides to form a band of reluctant volunteers, able to react to any emergency. This was the first appearance of the new trio that would form the main characters of the show.
Luthor ‘Hobo’ Hobdyke – Russ Abbott
Entwhistle – Burt Kwok
Alvin – Brian Murphy
Clegg – Peter Sallis
Truely – Frank Thornton
Written By: Roy Clarke
Russ Abbott Years Transmission Dates: 31st December 2008 – 29th August 2010