Thursday 19 October 2017

'I gave Peter Sallis all the best lines' says Last Of The Summer Wine creator

Writer Roy Clarke make a very special tribute to the “tremendous” star.

By Francesca Gosling

Last Of The Summer Wine creator Roy Clarke has paid tribute to “tremendous” actor Peter Sallis, who has died aged 96.

Sallis became a household name in the UK as mild-mannered Norman “Cleggy” Clegg in the show, which became Britain’s longest-running sitcom.

Roy admitted he gave Peter “all the best lines” as he praised the star’s dry sense of humour and his committed work ethic.

The 87-year-old said: “I admired him enormously, he was a very, very nice guy.

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“I used to give him the best lines, because he always knew what to do with them.

“He never had to ask ‘what do you mean by that?’, he just got it immediately.”

They met in 1969 when Sallis was cast in one of Roy’s plays and, when he later began work on Last Of The Summer Wine, he requested Sallis specifically.

Roy said: “I would like to testify to his bravery because for many years he had eye problems and he could barely read a script, but you would never know because I never heard him complain.

“He was tremendous, he just carried on.”

According to his agents Jonathan Altaras Associates, the star died with his family by his side at Denville Hall in north west London on Friday.

But while he was best known as Cleggy by British sitcom fans, he was known across the globe for his role voicing loveable inventor Wallace in Nick Park’s animated films.

Nick, whose Wallace And Gromit films The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995) and The Curse Of The Ware-Rabbit were all Oscar winners, paid tribute to Sallis, saying: “I’m so sad, but feel so grateful and privileged to have known and worked with Peter over so many years.

“He was always my first and only choice for Wallace.”

He added: “He brought his unique gift and humour to all that he did, and encapsulated the very British art of the droll and understated.”

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