Last Of The Summer Wine, Where Are They Now? Part Two
Since we did the first post last year, it has become one of our most viewed posts, so as promised here are some more.
It’s ten years since the very last episode of Last Of The Summer Wine aired and sadly very few of the cast are still with us.
Michael Bates played Cyril Blamire in the pilot episode and first 2 series of the show. He was the original leader of the trio. He bowed out at the end of series 2, as he was suffering with cancer meaning he was unable to participate in the physical side of the role. As a performer Bates did continue with It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, but sadly lost his battle with cancer in 1978.
Foggy Dewhirst was part of the show’s most popular trio (Foggy, Clegg and Compo). A former sign writing corporal in the Army, the character became famous for is war stories. The character was played by Brian Wilde who had found fame as sympathetic prison officer Mr Barrowclough in Porridge.
In the show Compo and Clegg are reminded about him when at the beginning of series 3 they receive a letter from Blamire who has departed to get married. He has bumped into Foggy, the last man standing in a barracks about to close, so he sends Foggy to be reunited with his old friends.
During Foggy’s reign the show gathered momentum and popularity, but by 1985, after nine years Brian Wilde decided he wanted to move on and so he was packed off to Bridlington to run the family egg painting business in the 1986 New Year Special Uncle Of The Bride.
Wilde returned to the show in 1990 and stayed until 1996. During the preparations for series 19 he had been struck down by shingles. Wilde was concerned that his condition was not completely cleared and shingles is notorious for reappearing, even more painfully. His character was replaced by Truly Of the Yard.
The door was left open for a return, but Brian Wilde never did return, he died in 2008.
Howard played by Robert Fyffe joined the show in 1986 after the character appeared in a summer season show of the series, staged in Bournemouth in 1985.
Howard was a shy character, although you could be forgiven for thinking not, henpecked by wife Pearl he was the next door neighbour of Norman Clegg. Despite his shy demeaner Howard had a thirst for adventure that lead him to take on a love interest in the form of man eater Marina.
His ongoing affair provided much humour for the show as he thought up various schemes for the two to spend time together un-noticed. “I think we’ve really cracked it this time love” and Oh Marina became catchphrases. Every encounter with Marina would end in the pair being caught together, including in later series by Pearl. His standard reply would always be “I was just helping this young lady, who I hardly know”
Since the series ended actor Robert Fyffe has popped up in films and on TV. At the time of writing (December 2020) he is 95 years old and still with us.
Last Of The Summer Wine is available on DVD, repeated regularly on UKTV Gold and Drama. A collection of the earlier series are streamed on BritBox