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Wit of Wisdom

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Will Gompertz | 09:25 UK time, Tuesday, 5 October 2010

For those who grew up with Norman Wisdom, with his high-pitched absurdist characters, with his slapstick schtick, with his sparkling eyes radiating innocence and vulnerability, today is a sad day.

Norman Wisdom


With his passing goes a piece of personal history for those that watched him through the second half of the 20th Century. Of gloomy winter days when he'd pop up in the afternoon movie and transport the viewer into his world of fast farce.

And of his chat-show performances - which were always performances, such as this appearance on the BBC's Pebble Mill.

He was the cheeky chappie; the working-class lad whose naivety neutralised upper-class pomposity; the actor who could bring wafer-thin plotlines alive, as he does with the classic cut of a budget British flick.

He was a product of his time and background, a unique performer whose heir is not apparent.



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