BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Norman Wisdom: Your memories

00:01 UK time, Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The comic actor Sir Norman Wisdom has died aged 95. What are your memories?

Sir Norman was famous for a series of slapstick film roles in the 1950s and 60s - his physical comedy so impressed Charlie Chaplin that he described Wisdom as his favourite clown.

His family said he died at a nursing home on the Isle of Man on Monday evening, having suffered a series of strokes over the past six months.

How will you remember Sir Norman Wisdom? Did you ever meet him? What were his best film roles?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    What a great guy one of my childhood heroes. Met him once in a car showroom in Gloucestershire. A real interesting gentleman signed a photo for my son who was 5 at the time. After he left my son said who was that nice man. RSP Norman

  • Comment number 2.

    This is such sad news. I grew up in the 60s / 70s when Norman always seemed to be on TV. He always made me smile and even this evening, when reading the news about his passing, I couldn't help but smile when I saw his picture. Sir Norman was a true star, loved by millions and, by goodness, what great memories he has left us with.

  • Comment number 3.

    Thank you Norman for the laughs. May you rest in peace sir!!

    Say hello to Mr Grimsdale for me will you!

    I remember seeing you live in 1994 in Croydon. Someone shouted, "We Love You Norman!" and you replied with a grin and a funny voice, "Thank you...."

    I have and will never forget that moment!

    I can't type anymore because I am too upset, but I am happy you don't have to suffer any longer.

    RIP Mr Pitkin.....

  • Comment number 4.

    With his movies, he brought a smile to all the families in the isolated Albania. I remember as a kid, with my friends, we would sit in front of the TV and wait for him to appear. At that time, he was the funniest character ever. He will always be on my mind as the funny British man, before I would hear about the reputation (not so true) about the cold British people. Rest in Peace, dear Pitkin

  • Comment number 5.

    Norman gave me my first big break as a musician in show business. I was his pianist for nearly 3 years. Joining him shortly after a Summer Season in Skegness. During that time, we toured Australia, New Zealand, and Rhodesia as well as many dates in the UK and the Isle of Man. I remember one night in Bournemouth during a Christmas show, Freddie Starr was heckling him from the audience. He eventually came on stage and carried Norman off - end of show.
    Not only was Norman always the perfect gentlemen, but I learnt so much about stage craft and show business in the short i worked with him, Tony Fayne and Roy North. (He also "played at golf" - his words, not mine)

    Brilliant days. Thank you Norman. Bless you

  • Comment number 6.

    A great classic actor that made me laugh and i will never forget...The Early Bird being my favorite:-)

  • Comment number 7.

    It is indeed a sad day as another great British comedy genius leaves us. Mr Wisdom's comedic style both on and off stage is beyond compare even today and yet spanned generations. Rest in peace.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sir Norman was known for his song "Don't laugh at me 'cause I'm a fool". Well, he may have acted the fool, but he knew exactly how to make you laugh. He will be greatly missed by me, my family and the world. Mr. Grimsdale is waiting up there, Norman.

  • Comment number 9.

    I will always remember Norman as the funniest actor in the funniest films ever. I will never forget how I laughed liked mad as a kid when I saw him in a film as a London policeman when he agreed to referee a football match for kids using his police whistle and almost every copper in London came running to his aid. His films and humour was in your face and clean. A master of his art.

  • Comment number 10.

    Norman Wisdom was a childhood comedy hero of mine. Loved all of his films. He was indeed, a very talented comedy actor. I send my condolences to his family.

    Phil Edwards.
    North Wales.

  • Comment number 11.

    "it looks like some kind of football"...I cried with laughter when I heard that in one of his films. It was only recently I looked him up on the internet. Good old fashioned British comedy has lost one of its best sons and I have lost one of my heroes and a part of my past

  • Comment number 12.

    I remember seeing Norman Wisdom perform at the Hippodrome in Gt Yarmouth back in the mid 70's. I never laughed so much.
    He was a very talented actor and will always be one of the best. Will be sadly missed.

  • Comment number 13.

    Sir Norman wisdom what a great loss to comedy he will be sadly missed
    I have read his book great reading from lad to sir and that he learned how to do his own stunts
    Just to make the world laugh and he did.
    He was the best clown of them all if I feel down then a film of Normans would cheer me up and the children too.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sir Norman nearly always played the role of the little Guy up against Authority, rather like the way Charlie Chaplin also did.

    Normans Films have been and still are as funny as the Day they were first made, for unlike today whereby we don't have any more Clowning around with natural Funny Actors appearing upon the Big - Screen in Film after Film many made in Black and White [ Monochrome ], which resembled those Movie Actors of the Silent Screen Era, with the likes of Laurel and Hardy, and Buster Keaton, for Norman was truly their equals when giving True Value for Money.

    So, Norman RIP for you will always be fondly remembered as the Greatest Comedy Actor and Clown of the British Silver Screen a position you rightly deserve, for they once said after Laurel and Hardy had both Died - that they have now gone out of view, and out of sight, for we shall never see their likes again, and with the passing of Sir Norman this statement once more and for the very last time is again true, for we will never again return to the Days of the Slapstick Movie Clowns, for this Era has now finally gone forever.

  • Comment number 15.

    Rest In Peace Sir Norman. A much loved man. Actor, comedian, singer, writer, director, songwriter, musician, and father. We will miss you.

  • Comment number 16.

    What a sad loss to British Comedy the clown that Charlie Chaplin enjoyed watching is their any higher praise.In a world of slapstick at the time Laurel and Hardy Keaton etc this was our very own clown Don't laugh at me cause I'm a fool the trouble was he was nobodies fool Norman was a gent he made his money from making people laugh a skill that only very few people have.BBC always nearly every Xmas show Wisdoms old films and their still very funny no smut compared with todays comedians.I remember Parky interviewing him and my first thought was how well mannered Sir Norman was what a gentleman eveybody loved him but apart from that song he will be best remembered for the jacket the cap and his walk.Sadly all good things come to an end in this day and age we all need a laugh and a joke Sir Norman Wisdom certainly supplied that!

  • Comment number 17.

    I met Norman Wisdom once after a live performance - it was a thrill to talk to him in person.

    I have always been a great fan. I enjoyed all his films, but a particular favourite was A Stitch In Time which I saw at the cinema. The audience was shrieking with laughter and rolling in the aisles.

    Great memories! Sadly missed.





  • Comment number 18.

    Fabulous comedy actor my grandma took me to see all his films in the 6 weeks holidays the best slapstick comedian we have had will be missed
    Thanks Norman for all the laughs

  • Comment number 19.

    i fondly remember rolling around the floor laughing with my dad at this very funny guy who was pure genius ands so dedictaed to his art and to those many children he helped also. i read his autobiography and he came from humble beginnings to make it big. i was upset when the news broke although i knew he wasnt well and has had a good life except the latter years. i bet he wetting himself laughing wherever he may be and look forward to the re runs of his movies

  • Comment number 20.

    A Legend,
    not too sure why the media never warmed to him, but I loved him when I was a kid. Incredible that he made 95, one of the true greats along with Eric Morecambe, Ronnie Barker and Spike Milligan, all of whom made a poor life richer for lots of generations. Thankyou

  • Comment number 21.

    Rest in peace Norman Wisdom thank you for so many years of tears of laughter, Mr Grimsdale last of the summer Wine, to name a few, go and party with the rest of the comedy greats. you may have left, but your laughter will forever and your forever smiling face will be here for eternity, your family have been so lucky to have had so many years with you.

  • Comment number 22.

    !!!! MR GRIMSDALE!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    What a sad time for British Comedy, Norman Wisdom was one of the funniest people of all time. I remember watching his films as a child and them making me cry with laughter, he was my mum's all time favourite and she saw him perform live a few times which she still remembers to this day.

    R.I.P Sir Norman, you gave so much to everyone

  • Comment number 24.

    Always a great laugh Mr Grimsdale !!

  • Comment number 25.

    Thank you Norman, for making me laugh - in BIG way! The humour may seem tame now, by today's standards, but nevertheless it harks back to more innocent times. If only life was more straightforward these days and people could learn to laugh at simple things once more then the world would be a better place. We have a lot to learn!
    I grew up in the 60's when a trip to the "pictures" to see a Norman Wisdom film always left me with a warm feeling inside. I haven't seen the films for some time now, but I have no doubt that when I do I will still laugh as loudly as I did all those many years ago. Well done Norman and thank you for everything, rest in peace and make 'em laugh!

    CraIg Hambling
    Accrington

  • Comment number 26.

    I was in Norman Wisdom's second film as a 10 year old boy. One Good Turn was filmed at Pinewood Studios in the Summer Term. A coach load of us children were ferried to Pinewood from our school in Slough every weekday. We had to have 3 hours lessons at the Studios each day to comply with the law but I know we learned more from being with this great man and the crew and the cast.(Sir) Norman was a very clever actor and a lovely man equally at ease with all ages. It is in later years I now appreciate his patience (one crowd scene on location at Brighton seafront took 17 takes). Thora Hird and he clearly got on well together as did Shirley Abicair and Joan Rice.
    I can say that my respect for this man is total in that even as a young boy I recall not one altercation, nor any hint of unprofessionalism and certainly no profanities. None.
    He seemed to live his life in the same way - as a gentle, deeply sensitive and very aware man. His influence must be indelible to many, way beyond his acclaimed skills in his chosen craft.
    It is a very sad day.

  • Comment number 27.

    I was an RN working in Care of the Elderly and 1 day doing a shift on another ward and about to go on my break, I saw this man walking down the corridor, I recognised him but couldn't place him, he saw me looking at him, he smiled and waved at me through the ward window, for a few seconds I thought "oh! he must have been 1 of my Patients", the next second I was running down the Corridor Shouting "that was Norman Wisdom!" but he had gone, but I got a smile and a wave and that for me has been a story I dined out on ever since, as he was such a hero to me.
    I have met many famous people in my career as a RN but never have I acted in that way before or since, as I really an not someone who finds it easy to idolise someone for entertaining me, but I did him.
    RIP Norman you will go on, my 5 year old's laugh as much as I do at your Films.

  • Comment number 28.

    I'll remember Sir Norman for his films of course, but especially for the way they brought my father and I together... Dad was made deaf in the war and, for various reasons, had difficulty communicating but when Norman came on TV we laughed together and I once actually heard Dad's tenor voice singing "Don't laugh at me..." and realised what a good singer he had been. Thank you Norman, for letting me see aspects of my father I would have missed, but for you.

    Later I thrilled to Norman's serious performances and wished we'd seen more of his acting skills.

    Last, but not least, as one with the condition, I also remember him as the Patron of the Neuropathy Trust and the work he did for charity

    The world is poorer for the loss of not just a great clown and entertainer but a good man. Gone, but NEVER forgotten.

  • Comment number 29.

    One true Brit that always had a good word to say about everyone. I wish I could be just half as good as Norman Wisdom, because that would make me great... God bless you Norman. I hope the peace beyond the pearly gates is a bliss. All respect to Norman's relatives too. a great loss, but a gracious end. Norman will live on in our memories for many generations to come.

  • Comment number 30.

    My memories of Norman Wisdom are centered around a Friday night as I was growing up in the 70's and 80's. Dad would come home from work with the fish and chips, along with a quarter of midget gems, sherbet lemons and jelly babies. On BBC 2 at 6 o'clock they showed black and white movies and this is where I met Norman Wisdom. In later years as i have grown up I sometimes caught one of his movies and he still made me laugh just as much, and then as you saw him re-emerge in a new millenium on TV he just had to pull his 'face' and I laughed.
    I've never pasted a comment before, but felt i had to for Norman, he is such a part of my memories of my sadly past dad and he really made me laugh, just like my dad. RIP Norman.

  • Comment number 31.

    bumped into him once, he was asleep on a coach, always wanted to meet him. i didnt want to wake him so i wrote to him..........he wrote back a fantastic letter enclosing a signed photo, and an invitation to meet him if i was ever near to where he was performing...........unfortunately, i was never near......what a great entertainer AND a really nice person. the weird thing is........i was reading the letter today in the afternoon, and i didnt know he had died until 10 mins ago when i got in late from work........ we wont see his like again, loads of energy, multi talented, a very funny, polished performer.

  • Comment number 32.

    Norman i will allways rember you singing "don't laugh at me " it makes me cry every time. i guess that was your genius , you knew how to touch us.

  • Comment number 33.

    Heaven is going to be a funnier place from now on.

  • Comment number 34.

    Never mind that Norman Wisdom was a comic genius, he was the kind of human being most of us simply aspire to. Funny, caring, genuine and honest.

    One of a kind and a fantastic, wonderful person.

  • Comment number 35.

    I remember him well. A very funny man and never a bad word out of his mouth. But, at 95, I suppose he had had a good innings.
    Peter D South Carolina

  • Comment number 36.

    He was my nans and granfathers hero he was my dads hero met him in clements car park yrs ago fantastic man a proper legend. heaven will be a funnier and brighter place and best of all a legend that will always live on in all our hearts. love u norman xx you will be missed dearly

  • Comment number 37.



    BBC! Entry to this board...use your user name or email address.
    Username part (never works) Why?


    Now back to "Norman the Great". He was the best at what he did...make people laugh...& I laughed & laughed & laughed till I nearly died watching him. I can hear him as I write this, "Mr Grimsdale! Mr Grimsdale!".

    Rest in peace, funny fellow. Your smile & laugh will be greatly missed.

  • Comment number 38.

    I remember a figure in a hospital bed, swathed in bandages and with one leg in traction.
    His wife visits him.
    She says something like "Does it 'urt luv?"
    He replies something like "No! - Only when I laugh."

  • Comment number 39.

    my love and wishes go to you and your family norman. rest silenty and im sure my dad will have a ball with you. xx

  • Comment number 40.

    BBC! Entry to this board...use your user name or email address.
    Username part (never works) Why?


    Now back to "Norman the Great". He was the best at what he did...make people laugh...& I laughed & laughed & laughed till I nearly died watching him. I can hear him as I write this, "Mr Grimsdale! Mr Grimsdale!".

    Rest in peace, funny fellow. Your smile & laugh will be greatly missed.

  • Comment number 41.


    Goodbye norman, you will always be remembered in our hearts,
    you have made me laugh since i was a child, the world has lost a natural
    comedian, singer and all round fantastic entertainer.

    may you rest in peace, your adoring public will always miss you.
    sad to see a genius pass away....

  • Comment number 42.

    I was fortunate to have seen many Norman Wisdom films and they all had a central theme - that the underdog can have their day! He was always polite, a real gentleman and we will miss him. A real loss. May he rest in peace.

  • Comment number 43.

    R.I.P. One the last great comedians has gone he will be missed a great down to earth bloke who loved his bikes and loved life to the full i was brought up watching him on tv and both my kids thinks hes so funny a rare talent .............HE WILL BE MISSED

  • Comment number 44.

    This man was amazing he made me smile every time he was on the TV or watching the many films he made for so many years. I feel so sad that he has passed away. the world is a sadder place now he has gone.. God bless you Norman rest in peace...

  • Comment number 45.

    A couple of weeks ago I was walking on the foothills of the mountains of British Columbia, Canada (where I now live) thinking of England, where I was born and grew up. For some reason I was remembering some of my favorite comedians, and suddenly found myself singing "Don't laugh at me.....". Norman Wisdom was always truly funny - hilariously so - and one can only be saddened by his death. However, his legacy of laughter will remain for many years to come. Thank you so much Norman.

  • Comment number 46.

    All Normans films were wonderful,but the one thing I will always remember was his role in the play Going Gently..very moving....sleep peacefully Norman

  • Comment number 47.

    What sad news. It makes me remember times with my Dad when we would watch Saturday afternoon films on BBC2 starring Norman Wisdom - the flat cap, jacket with too short sleeves , the way we can all hear him saying "Mr Grimsdale" and the funny faces. My sympathies to the family.

  • Comment number 48.

    How will I remember Norman Wisdom? Inextricably linked to The Ramones... via The Human League lyrics of course!

  • Comment number 49.

    Back in India, I saw my first Norman wisdom about 20 years ago. "The man of the moment" followed "Follow a star". I have followed the star ever since. My children enjoy comedy - Norman Wisdom style.
    The laughter that he generated shall burst forth into a million fairies.
    But I shall ever remember, every flight I board, what the true legend of British Comedy. "Don't worry, He's just gotten off the next stop"
    May his sole rest in peace.

  • Comment number 50.

    A very funny Mag.

  • Comment number 51.

    Sir Norman.

    In as many words, you were the reason for television during my childhood.
    You taught me to laugh and to cry, and I have joined this blog-site in order to tell you, that this is truly a day of sadness for me.

    Thanks for the eternal memories you leave with me!
    Rest in peace, Sir Norman.

  • Comment number 52.

    Norman Wisdom was a physical comedy genius. I had the pleasure of witnessing him in action on stage in a cabaret performance in Tehran in the early seventies. He had the audience enthralled. God rest your soul and thank you for bringing such joy to so many lives.

  • Comment number 53.

    A wonderfully gifted comic genius i grew up watching him as boy and have loved him ever since, he was like a kid what never grew up and he was just so loveable everything with him in it even the drama movies such as going gently i had to watch, i only got to see him once at sunderland empire on stage in 1989 and he was fantastic as ever and so fit for the age of the man even then, i hold him very dear to my heart and i am deeply saddened he has gone i knew this time would come eventually and you are not quite prepared when it does happen i just feel truly grateful he did not suffer and passed away in his sleep i feel if he did go on much longer he may have declined and suffered more so i hope he is at peace now, but he will be sadly missed by me and others thank you all for your comments i have been reading them and it is nice to see how much he was truly loved, there will never be a another norman wisdom he was truly unique and precious R.I.P Norman

  • Comment number 54.

    The last great comic!
    RIP Norman

  • Comment number 55.

    Thank you, not only for all the times you made me laugh, but also for some of the finest acting I have ever seen.

    Rest in peace.

  • Comment number 56.

    Lovely man as everyone who met him seemed to appreciate! He knocked at my door once unannounced to deliver the milk from the doorstep and announced "Milk" which I seem to remember was from one of his characters. Since I wasn't at home at the time and my wife said i wouldn't believe her, he returned later to the door with a party of tourists to ensure I didn't have my wife committed!

  • Comment number 57.

    First time writing to these pages but must say how sad I am at the death of Sir Norman Wisdom. I got his autograph at a golf game once & he was a gentleman.

    Thank you for all the laughs over the years & I saw your last show in Blackpool. The screams when you walked on stage nearly brought the roof down in the packed out Opera House.

    Thank you Sir for being in my life. You are a Legend & Star in every sense of the word.

  • Comment number 58.

    I have a great collection of his movies, I always enjoyed his movies as a kid. I heard the news of him passing as I left for work this morning, a little bit of a shock.

    Some nice thoughts of his movies that made me laugh, anyone that can make us laugh, certainly in current times his great to be around.

    You have left so many great memories, certainly in my heart.

  • Comment number 59.

    Mr Grimsdale, Mr Grimsdale, I'm nearly there, get the tea on!

    Dear Norman, you were a part of my childhood and a part of my adulthood, to think of a life spent without you in it fills me with sadness. I am so glad I was born when I was as I was able to enjoy your talent and decency for a very long time.

    You have more than earned that cup of tea Mr Grimsdale is brewing for you up in heaven.
    God bless you sir.

  • Comment number 60.

    Norman epitomized my childhood and all our family were lifelong fans. I always used to worry that all that falling about would cause you trouble "later in life". So happy that you reached a "ripe old age" and was still going strong to the end.

    You will be sadly missed and were much loved Norman.

  • Comment number 61.

    An example to all. He dragged himself up by his bootlaces from a dreadful start in life and made us laugh as he did so.

  • Comment number 62.

    God bless Sir Norman Wisdom, a genuine comedy talent and legend who knew how to make people laugh without using vulgarity.

  • Comment number 63.

    Sir Norman was a wonderful comedian. He was not just slapstick, his films had meaningful messages. I always had a wish to meet him because I wanted to shake his hand and say 'thank you for making me laugh and thank you for making me cry'. You will be missed but your humour will be passed on from generation to generation. Sleep well lovely man.

  • Comment number 64.

    A king of comedy and of comedians who turned grey days into bright days. A fond farewell to a much respected British man. Cheers!

  • Comment number 65.

    Sir Norman was such a lovely man ,my son who was killed in 2006 was a big fan ,and one of his prized possession's was a photo of himself and Sir Norman ,R I P and hope you and my son meet in heaven.

  • Comment number 66.

    As kids we waited for the latest Norman Wisdom to come out. I once spent several hours at the flicks seeing the Bulldog Breed three times in the same day. Even now 40 years on he still makes me laugh out loud.

  • Comment number 67.

    As a child he was an idol to me, but he had enough adult elements in his films to appear to everyone alike, he'll be severely missed, God bless Norman :)

  • Comment number 68.

    I remember meeting him in the Isle Of Man. He was still riding motorbikes at a great age. Lovely gentleman.

  • Comment number 69.

    I AM huge fan of Norman Wisdom and have seen most of his films, some of which I still have today. Although I have never met him nevertheless he was fun to watch and very funny. I still remember some of his funny dialogues in his films. It is so sad to hear about his death; of an actor and comedian who has entertained people with his slapstick comedy. He will be sorely missed........ R.I.P SIR NORMAN WISDOM!!!!!

  • Comment number 70.

    What a great man, you brought so much laughter to so many. RIP Sir Norman

  • Comment number 71.

    As a child of the fifties and sixties I remember looking forward to the cinema and in particular comedy and Norman Wisdom. We must have been taken to all his films and later on they were always a delight to watch on the television. I suppose he was Britains answer to Jerry Lewis, and I found I much preferred "our Norman".
    A gentleman and entertainer that will be remembered !

  • Comment number 72.

    He was the funniest man on telly when I was a kid - irreplaceable

  • Comment number 73.

    Always a huge fan of his. I grew up in the 70's watching re-runs of his movies. A comedy genius.

    RIp Sir Norman

  • Comment number 74.

    What a wonderful man. I was lucky enough to help interview him as part of a college video project in about 1990. It was difficult to control the camera as we were laughing too much. As he talked about his early life, he started by saying that "I was born into very sorry circumstances... my parents were very sorry."

  • Comment number 75.

    My parents took me to see Norman on stage in London in the late 50s when I was about 8 years old. At one point during his show he got up to some prank, demonstrating the practical uses of a hammer. I'll never forget the shrieks of incredulity when, in his inimitable serious-cum-comic manner, he threw the "useless" hammer directly into the audience. Everyone in the audience looked towards the place where it had landed, to see if anyone had been hurt. Then Norman disappeared offstage.

    People were still looking to see if anyone had been hurt by the wayward hammer. Norman then re-appeared, armed with a box of hammers, which he then started throwing one-by-one at anyone and everyone in the audience - by then arms were waving as people, especially us kids, wanted to catch one of those hammers! (I don't think public liability was an issue in those days but I'm sure he wouldn't be allowed to repeat that prank today!).

    As luck would have it, I too got one of those hammers, which was identical in shape, colour and size to the real thing, except it was made of hollow rubber. My father always enjoyed Norman's antics and decided to carry on the prank a bit afterwards. So, when parked in the car on the busy street after the show and whilst my mother went into a a nearby shop, he told me "play" with the hammer very close to the backseat window. I did, and remember getting some very concerned looks from passersby, one of whom actually engaged my father's eyes and pointed to me. This tickled him a lot!

    Yes, we all loved Norman in our family. He was the most naturally funny man I have ever had the pleasure to watch on film and see on stage. I don't think there could ever be another Norman Wisdom. What a character!

  • Comment number 76.

    GENIUS. BEST ACTOR EVER WHAT A MAN THAY WONT STOP LAUGHING UP THERE NOW

  • Comment number 77.

    Such sad news... My Grandad would regularly bring copies of his films round and watch them with my sister and I on Saturday afternoons and we loved every one of them. He always seemed like such a gent... Will be sadly missed, but always remembered.... RIP Norman.

  • Comment number 78.

    As a cub reporter working in Morecambe I was once dispatched to a nearby cafe to try and get and interview with Norman Wisdom who had been spotted eating there (he frequently passed through the town on the way to Heysham, where he got the ferry home to the Isle of Man). When I arrived he was tucking into fish and chips with his wife and, nervous at being in the presence of a famous film star, I gingerly approached him to ask for an interview. Most celebrities would probably have told me to get lost and to leave them in peace while they enjoyed a private moment with their nearest and dearest. But not Norman. He let me join them at the table and I got my interview. I was in awe of this genuine legend who had made me laugh on so many occasions and therefore can't remember what I asked or what I said but I do remember he was a true gentleman. RIP Norman.

  • Comment number 79.

    I had the pleasure of working with Norman Wisdom in 1979/80 at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre. He was appearing in pantomime and I was a young Theatre Manager. I found him charming and genuine. I also found him to be a shy person when talking to him personally away from his 'on-stage' persona, but a delight to work with and very fit and agile in his older years. He always told me that to do slapstick well you had to be physically fit and almost an athlete, and I think that was his secret to his comedy falls and stunts.

    My favourite memory was that one night at the theatre we had a bomb scare in the middle of his pantomime performance. The Police required us to clear the theatre. I approached Norman at the side of the stage and told him that we had to stop the performance and empty the theatre as quickly as possible. He joined me on stage and explained to the audience that they must leave and even pointed them towards the exits.

    Afterwards I thanked him for his help and smiling he said "It's the first time I have genuinely cleared a theatre"

    He will be sadly missed.

  • Comment number 80.

    I remember his films with affection - comedy has lost a great man

    R I P

  • Comment number 81.

    I felt sad to hear of Norman's passing. My greatest memory of him is when he came to our town to film "There was a Crooked Man". My grandma used to take me down every day to watch filming on set and collect autographs. I had all the stars' autographs except Norman's. During the filming of one scene my grandma ran on set and asked for his autograph for me. He very politely said he couldn't because he was working, but he kissed her on the hand. I remember being embarassed when a policeman escorted her off set. She was over the moon for days and said she'd never wash her hand again after that kiss!! I never did get his autograph.

  • Comment number 82.

    I couldnt stand him......then i was forced to watch = On The Beat = at christmas at someones house and i was crying with laughter.
    I am smiling now as i write this as i think of him running the streets
    dress as a policeman. I know its too late buy thank you Sir Norman.

  • Comment number 83.

    A British icon, wonderful comic, all-round entertainer and, by all accounts, a bloody nice bloke as well.

    Sir Norman Wisdom, The Beatles & the Spitfire - three of many things that can make us proud to be British!

  • Comment number 84.

    What a funny man was Norman Wisdom. We always watched his films when ever they was on TV. I still enjoy watching his films now. RIP Norman God bless

  • Comment number 85.

    So sad to lose this wonderful entertainer: he's been around all my life. Just to look at him made me smile as you knew he was about to get himself into some sort of hilarious mischief. As a child he managed all the naughty things children dreamed of and as an adult he was pure, non-smutty fun. My heart goes out to his family at this sad time: the loss of an era.

  • Comment number 86.

    On the Beat. classic.

    My personal view of what London looked like in the late 50s was, and still is, utterly formed by watching this film as a child. The police uniforms and the empty roads. I am 43 and watched this film as a child on a Saturday morning in the late 70s.

    I loved this film then and still do. Although funny, it is also poignant and touching. Norman is never going to be regarded as a giant of cinema, but my goodness he has a place in my heart.

    RIP Norman Wisdom.

  • Comment number 87.

    I remember getting thrown out of saturday morning cinema as a child watching Norman Wisdom in Trouble in store. He walked on screen dressed as a cowboy, as he did this I shouted out "the milky bars are on me "everybody thought it was funny except the cinema manager who promptly threw me out of the cinema and handed me a two week ban. Thanks Norman for good memories.

  • Comment number 88.

    I once had the pleasure to meet Norman whilst on holiday in the Isle Of Man. He was launching the RNLI new boat (which will be about 35 years old now)in Port Erin. He was my first ever star that I had met and what a lasting memory I have. I can rememebr him talking to me, like a big brother would and i even got my first kiss recorded on cine film!

    Norman was a good honest funny guy. His films became classic's and are loved today as they were when they were first released.

    He sought comedy in the little guy V's the world and he never offended anyone or exploited others weaknesses in order to make a joke.

    His last few years he required care in a nursing home due to his dementia and what he must of put his family and carers through i shudder to think as he was always the star and would of retreated into this role as he forgot his todays.

    My thoughts go to his family who lived in his shadow's - be proud of your father he was a great man who although wasn't always there for you was very much loved and if you have only one ounce of compassion that your father had - you too are loved

    Manchester Liz signing off on this very sad day - RIP Mr Pitkin xx

  • Comment number 89.

    I watched his films as a child, and have bought videos and DVD's for my children to share his wonderful, innocent, glorious silliness.

    It was only watching them again as an adult that I see what a genius he was.

    Whenever he was interviewed he always came across as a kind, modest, genuine man.

    Some of the lines from his films are part of our family's verbal furniture: 'got a bit of a limp...'

  • Comment number 90.

    My parents took me to London for the day at Christmastime as a special treat years ago. We often ended the day at a pantomime with Norman Wisdom playing the Dame or Buttons. I remember him being hoisted off his feet on the safety curtain and going up still singing! A real star.

  • Comment number 91.

    A sad day. I remember him from my childhood in the 50s; he always made me laugh and his timing was the best!
    RIP Norman

  • Comment number 92.

    Comedy genius!
    Still smile when I replay in my mind the scene where he's a council workman and digging a hole outside an army barracks...the sound of left-right-left-left-right-left left-left...I've seen it countless times ans still laugh the tears!
    Thank you sir..you've given me many happy hours!

  • Comment number 93.

    A wonderful comedian, and a gentleman in life. Made me laugh to tears in my childhood days. Am very sorry to learn about his passing.

  • Comment number 94.


    When I was a kid whenever a Norman Wisdom film was on I always made sure I watched it. It was nearly always the same storyline, little man / underdog up against the boss / authority - quintessentially British - never tire of it!

    He was also a very genuine man, who was normal in his approach to life and people. One of the greats of British film and tv. They don't make them like Norman anymore ... more's the pity!

  • Comment number 95.

    I was a pupil at Windsor Grammar from 1958. Many of Norman's film scenes were shot in Windsor, many in back streets down the Arthur Rd area and the 'low level' long since demolished or altered beyond recognition. One example is "On the Beat" - special memory is watching the filming of the football game between Norman and the boys between Arthur Rd and the GWR railway viaduct. Controversial at the time was the damage caused making the scene when he is chased across the back garden fences behind Arthur Rd cottages.

  • Comment number 96.

    My wife is from Armenia (not Albania) and they loved him there too, only they knew him by the name 'Pitkin' - his alter-ego in so many of his films. When I mentioned his real name, nobody had heard of him! No doubt Armenians will be sad to hear of the death of Pitkin. RIP Norman.

  • Comment number 97.

    well he was the best there was i will never forget norman god bles s to norman r i p good bye to a great man

  • Comment number 98.

    Them and Us......and US will win....I know cause ive just asked Mr Grimsdale.........Whether it was against the old world order of the thirties which tried to live their lives in the very changing world after the war or the old world charm of falling in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, sums his whole life up.
    A gentleman and talented actor the likes of which we will never see again.
    One small item from 'Trouble in Store' is Normans hand on the side of the car and being swiped by the chaffuer and missing every time..impectable timing.................Mr Grimsdale they've done it again

  • Comment number 99.

    my first introduction to comedy.
    I cant forget his exceptional and funny expressions in 'one good turn' , 'the early bird''Press for Time' etc.
    may God give him all the laughter he gave all of us young and old .
    My Grandfather, Father , Brother and cousins used o visit the first shows of his films way back in 60"s and 70"s.
    R.I.P. SIR

  • Comment number 100.

    I had the great privilege of meeting Sir Norman while working at the Royalty theatre Great Yarmouth in the 90's, he was a very genuine lovely man, I'm sure he will be missed by all who new him.

 

Page 1 of 6

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.