James Kirk discusses his comedy hero, Roy Clarke

The young Scottish comic has a fond place in his heart for the Last of the Summer Wine writer

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James Kirk discusses his comedy hero, Roy Clarke

Telling you about my comedy hero is difficult for me as there is no single person that inspired me to get into comedy. In fact, I never really decided to get into comedy, it just seemed to happen by accident. Looking back on what I watched when I was growing up, then I would have to say that my comedy hero would have been Roy Clarke, who wrote all 295 episodes of Last of the Summer Wine. That in itself is an incredible feat. Yes, in later years the quality did dip, but after nearly 30 years surely that’s acceptable.

There are many things to love and admire about Last of the Summer Wine. It is still perhaps the only programme to show old people in a positive light. In one episode it could go from a ridiculous slapstick scene to a genuinely moving and almost philosophical monologue at the end. There are few shows that can mix slapstick and philosophy.

As a small boy in the 90s, I genuinely loved that show. I can vividly remember watching it and thinking, ‘I can’t wait till I’m a retired widower!’ There are few writers in this world that can make a child wish his whole life away but Roy Clarke is one of those writers.

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