Last Of The Summer Wine – The Michael Bates Years
Last of The Summer Wine made it’s debut in January 1973 as an episode of the long running Comedy Playhouse series. It was commissioned almost immediately for a full time series with the first series premiering in November 1973.
The show followed the exploits of three retired friends as they go about their daily business in a small Yorkshire market town.
Wandering through the town and across open countryside musing about life, death and Nora Batty. The trio constantly get themselves into scrapes with the locals as Compo persists in his relentless pursuit of Nora Batty bringing much merriment along the way.
Michael Bates Final Appearance,
Cyril Blamire – Michael Bates
William Seminite (Compo) – Bill Owen
Norman Clegg – Peter Sallis
Nora Batty – Kathy Staff
Written By: Roy Clarke
Original Transmission Dates: 3rd January 1973 (pilot), 12th November 1973 (episode 1, series 1) – 16th April 1975
Merchandising: Both Series One and Two have enjoyed VHS Video releases (now deleted), both series are available on BBC DVD.
Repeats: The pilot episode has had a couple of screenings on UKTV channels Gold and Drama as have the first two series. Fortunately thanks to digital channels GOLD and Yesterday (which is free to view) the show enjoys regular repeats reminding us of just how good this show was over the years. However the pilot does not make it to DVD releases.
Extras: Eagle eared fans of the show may have realised in the Pilot Episode Nora’s husband is referred to as Harold. This subsequently changed to Wally once a series was commissioned.
Michael Bates left the show just before filming of series three began, due to ill health. A replacement third man was required enter one Corporal ‘Foggy’ Dewhirst.