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4 items from 2011


Ronald Wolfe obituary

20 December 2011 2:38 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Co-writer of TV sitcoms On the Buses and The Rag Trade

At the height of his writing partnership with Ronald Chesney, Ronald Wolfe, who has died aged 89 after a fall, enjoyed huge success with the sitcom On the Buses; its bawdy humour was panned by the critics but lapped up by the viewing public. Originally turned down by the BBC, the idea for a comedy based around the antics of a driver and conductor giving their inspector the runaround at the Luxton Bus Company appealed to Frank Muir, head of entertainment at the newly launched ITV company London Weekend Television.

Reg Varney played Stan Butler, at the wheel of the No 11, and Bob Grant was his lothario conductor, Jack. The pair made life hell for the miserable Inspector Blake (Stephen Lewis). Blakey's "Get that bus out" and "I 'ate you, Butler" were two of the most frequent lines that flowed »

- Anthony Hayward

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Ronald Wolfe obituary

19 December 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Co-writer of TV sitcoms On the Buses and The Rag Trade

At the height of his writing partnership with Ronald Chesney, Ronald Wolfe, who has died aged 89 after a fall, enjoyed huge success with the sitcom On the Buses; its bawdy humour was panned by the critics but lapped up by the viewing public. Originally turned down by the BBC, the idea for a comedy based around the antics of a driver and conductor giving their inspector the runaround at the Luxton Bus Company appealed to Frank Muir, head of entertainment at the newly launched ITV company London Weekend Television.

Reg Varney played Stan Butler, at the wheel of the No 11, and Bob Grant was his lothario conductor, Jack. The pair made life hell for the miserable Inspector Blake (Stephen Lewis). Blakey's "Get that bus out" and "I 'ate you, Butler" were two of the most frequent lines that flowed »

- Anthony Hayward

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David Croft obituary

27 September 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Comedy writer behind TV hits such as Dad's Army, Hi-de-Hi! and Are You Being Served?

David Croft, who has died aged 89, was a survivor of an almost extinct breed in British television: a comedy producer and writer who did not need a marketing survey to tell him what would make audiences laugh. If he found a comedy idea or script funny, he reckoned that it might well amuse others. The axiom came to seem old-fashioned among television executives hungry for ratings, but during a period of more than 30 years, the shows he and his co-writers created – Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Are You Being Served?, 'Allo 'Allo and Hi-de-Hi! – confirmed his view that, for a writer or producer of comedy, it helped to have a sense of humour.

Croft once said with pride that he had never been commissioned to continue an existing comedy series. Specific ideas or scripts were always submitted, »

- Dennis Barker

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Trevor Bannister obituary

17 April 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor known for his role as Mr Lucas in Are You Being Served?

The actor Trevor Bannister, who has died of a heart attack aged 76, was best known to television viewers from his role in Are You Being Served? as Mr Lucas, the menswear assistant at the Grace Brothers department store. The character was conceived by the sitcom's creators, David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, as one of the linchpins in the ensemble cast, creating a link between the menswear and ladieswear departments through his constant chasing of the stereotypical dollybird Miss Brahms (Wendy Richard).

Bannister was also adept at portraying Mr Lucas as a rebel who frequently questioned the store's management policies – such as requiring staff to smile more – and made fun of the pecking order, in which he stood at the bottom. He served as a mouthpiece for Lloyd, who had himself sold menswear at Simpson Piccadilly, in central London, »

- Anthony Hayward

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4 items from 2011


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