Last Of The Last Of The Summer Wine.

Last Of The Last Of The Summer Wine

BBC Radio 4 documentary. 1 episode in 2010. Features Ian McMillan.

Last Of The Last Of The Summer Wine

Retrospective of the world's longest running sitcom as it ends after more than 30 years, presented by poet Ian McMillan

BBC Radio 4
Ian McMillan
Ian Bent

As Last Of The Summer Wine draws to a close, broadcaster and poet Ian McMillan pays tribute to television's longest-running situation comedy.

In its heyday, the adventures of senior citizens Compo, Foggy and Clegg drew audiences of 19 million. But the current series will be the last.

The lyrical adventures of three bungling, elderly oddballs have charmed viewers of all generations for over a third of a century, and this programme charts the show's unbelievable success.

The show was pioneering in many ways, including the decision to have a double-length Christmas special - which ultimately set a trend for other programmes.

Featuring exclusive interviews with major cast members and archive of the late Bill Owen and Kathy Staff - who turned the character of battleaxe Nora Batty into a treasured national icon - the programme delves behind the scenes with writer Roy Clarke and producer/director Alan JW Bell, who offer fascinating insights into the show's journey from script to screen.

The production crew reveal memorable moments, and McMillan calls to mind his own favourite memories including some of the numerous guest stars to feature over the years, such as Norman Wisdom, George Chakiris and John Cleese.

The programme explores why the series has survived for so long, surprising both critics and audiences.

Production Details

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Sunday 29th August 2010 on BBC Radio 4 at 1:30pm
Episode length
30 minutes
Last repeat
Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 1:30am on Radio 4 Extra