5.4m toast Summer Wine's farewell

Series ends after 37 years

The final episode of Last of the Summer Wine was seen by 5.4 million viewers, according to overnight figures.

The BBC One sitcom, which has been axed after 37 years on air, picked up almost a million extra viewers compared to last week’s episode.

It is nonetheless a far cry from its heyday in the early Eighties, when it would draw up to 20 million viewers.

The last line was delivered by Peter Sallis, the only member of the original cast still in the show, when his increasingly forgetful character Norman Clegg pondered: ‘Did I lock the door?’.

However, the script – about a pair of policemen who lost their trousers – was not specially written as a finale.

When the decision to axe the series was made in June, Cheryl Taylor, controller 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.’

All 295 episodes were written by Roy Clarke.

Published: 30 Aug 2010

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