When Last of the Summer Wine finally ceased production, it had up 32 series, numerous Christmas specials and a 1988 prequel, First of the Summer Wine, with the whole canon being written by just one man: Roy Clarke. Created as a submission for the BBC's Comedy Playhouse in 1973, before the year was up, a full series had hit our screens. A whimsical comedy with a penchant for light philosophy and full-on slapstick, that first run followed the misadventures of three elderly friends tramping around the Yorkshire countryside (the town of Holmfirth and its surroundings). The upper, middle and lowers classes writ large: they were Former Royal Signals Sergeant and notional gang leader Cyril Blamire; flat cap-wearing voice-of-reason Norman 'Cleggy' Clegg and scruffy hormone-riddled layabout Compo Simonite. In a world where men are just over-grown kids, the authority figures come in the shape of some of TV's most formidable women. There's the physically intimidating tea shop owner Ivy, but even she pales in comparison to Nora Batty. With her wrinkled stockings and hair curlers, she's both a bogeyman figure curtailing the trio's fun and became an unlikely lust object for Compo.


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