Last of the Summer Wine axed by BBC

Perennial BBC series Last Of The Summer Wine is to be axed.

The series, which launched in 1973 and has starred Bill Owen, Peter Sallis (pictured) and Frank Thornton, will run for just one more series.

The BBC said it was ‘very tough to have to call time’ on the show.

There had been speculation for many years that the show would be retired, but it was continually recommissioned.

Based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, Last Of The Summer Wine has been much mocked for the similar themes of its episodes which saw the main characters, all in their twilight years, involved in various high jinks.

But it proved to have longevity and survived the deaths of a number of its leading actors.

Each episode over the past 37 years has been written by Roy Clarke and produced and directed by Alan JW Bell.

The programme was first shown as a one-off episode of the BBC’s Comedy Playhouse, but was such a success that a series was commissioned.

Last Of The Summer Wine has now run to more than 30 series and is the world’s longest-running sitcom.

BBC One controller Jay Hunt said: “Last Of The Summer Wine has been part of BBC One for nearly 40 years. This wonderful final series is a fitting farewell to these much-loved characters and I am delighted some of the channel’s other heritage brands will be helping to say goodbye in style.”

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