10:25 03 June 2010
After almost 40 years on the air, cherished BBC sitcom 'Last of the Summer' wine has been axed.
The show was the world's longest running sitcom. Following one final series, the BBC One show will bow out this summer.
'Last of the Summer Wine' followed the misadventures of elderly citizens Compo (Bill Owen), Foggy (Brian Wilde) and Clegg (Peter Sallis) as well as the iconic battleaxe Nora Batty (Kathy Staff). In its prime, the comedy brought in 19 million viewers.
Devised in 1973 by TV stalwart Roy Clarke, 'Last of the Summer Wine' was based in the sleepy West Yorksire market town of Holmfirth.
Cheryl Taylor, the BBC's head of comedy commissioning, said: "It is very tough to have to call time on such a cherished institution but we are very sincere in our gratitude for, and admiration of, Last of the Summer Wine. It is the undisputed champion of long-running comedy series.
"It is a testimony to the wit and warmth of the characters that Roy Clarke originally created that this amazing series has endured over several decades. The BBC feels enormously privileged to hve played host to its many charms for such a long time and we very much respect the affection in which it is held."
Jay Hunt, channel controller, 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 that some of the channel's other heritage brands will be helping to say goodbye in style."
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