Brian Wilde, a much-loved star in two of television's favourite sitcoms, has died at the age of 80. He was the kindly, gullible prison officer outwitted each week by Ronnie Barker and his fellow jailbirds in Porridge. He went on to play the self-important ex-army corporal, Foggy, in Last Of The Summer Wine.
Wilde joined Last Of The Summer Wine – now the world's longest running sitcom – for its third series in 1976. He joined Bill Owen (Compo) and Peter Sallis (Clegg) for nine years before leaving in 1985. He returned in 1990 and remained for another seven years, appearing in a total of 116 episodes.
Last of the Summer Wine was my favourite show on television. Set in Holmfirth near where I used to live, it was a gentle break from the angst and scandal of Eastenders et al. It wasn't vulgar; the nearest the show ever got to sex was Compo's lusting after Nora Battie's wrinkly stockings. And now in my retirement I can identify with those guys. It is one of the few programmes that I miss now that we have Spanish satellite TV.