Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Petering Out

RIP to Peter Sallis, who has left us, at the ripe old age of 96. Not so much Summer Wine, as Vintage.
He always came across as an affable, avuncular sort of chap, with a twinkle in his eye.
For many who are younger, it is his voice which will be familiar - as Wallace, the inventive counterpart to the long-suffering canine Gromit.
Creator and animator Nick Park has always said there was never any question who should provide the voice. Utterly inspired casting imho
But he had a very long career befoe LOTSW propelled him into the limelight. In 1974 he played Mr Bonteen in the long running period drama "The Pallisers"

And in 1967, he was Penley the scientist in a series of Dr Who [with the second Dr, Patrick Troughton]
But my personal favourite Sallis performance is in Nick Warburton's radio play "Purvis". Sadly it's not currently available on BBC iPlayer [maybe I'll email them about it]
I found it wonderfully funny - and although I have heard it at least three times now, it reduces me to tears of laughter every time. Purvis is a sweet churchgoing man - and feeling at a loose end following the death of his wife, he volunteers to become the church Health and Safety Officer. The Christian Patience of the Vicar and his wife [and many parishioners] are sorely tested by this dear man's attempts to keep the House Of God safe - many of his projects exacerbate rather than ameliorate the potential disasters. NW is a gifted playwright, and he has clearly spent time eavesdropping in the vestry. Peter Sallis plays the part of this hapless 'helpful' gent to perfection. He gets exactly the right tone of voice, his timing and inflections are spot-on. If you get the chance to hear this play, do listen.  
RIP Peter - thanks for bringing joy and laughter to so many people - you were grand!


  1. He will be very much missed.

  2. I was saddened to hear of his passing. My husband and I love the old Last of the Summer Wine. We discovered it when we were visiting England in 1992. Our grandchildren love Wallace and Gromit also. Sad to see these people leaving us-somehow we almost feel like they would always be there.

  3. Oh, I'm sad to hear of his demise but what a great age he reached. He was always my favourite of the LOTSW chaps (and of course, the one consistent one!!)
    That radio show sounds great!

  4. I think I've found Purvis https://archive.org/details/Purvis


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