Ending without a send-off isn't funny says Summer Wine star

A STAR of Last Of The Summer Wine has criticised the BBC for not filming a specially-written farewell episode of the axed show.

The comedy, the world's longest-running sitcom, comes to an end this summer on BBC1.

Tom Owen, who plays Compo's long-lost son, hit out at the Corporation for not filming a unique farewell show, saying the cast only heard that the comedy would be axed after they had shot the final six episodes.

In a magazine interview, he said: "We were all very sad but it has to end some time. The only thing I think we all feel is that the BBC could have at least done us the courtesy of finishing the series off properly, with a specially-written final episode.

"It hasn't been done and I think that's a little bit off, to say the least."

Owen, 61, who was brought into the show 11 years ago when his father, Bill Owen, died, said he understood why the comedy had been such a success for the past 37 years.

"It's brilliantly written and there's no smut in it. The whole family could watch it, regardless of age. It also has a feelgood factor as it's set in the Yorkshire countryside, has a great cast and excellent direction.

"Basically you've got a formula for a huge show and it's proven its worth over the years."

The BBC is planning to celebrate the end of Last Of The Summer Wine with special editions of Countryfile and Songs of Praise coming from Holmfirth, where the comedy has been outdoor scenes have been filmed since its inception in 1973.

The sitcom – about people in the autumn of their years and all written by Roy Clarke, has clocked up more than 30 series as well as several Christmas specials.

Over the years it has featured a host of famous faces, including Eric Sykes, Dame Thora Hird, Norman Wisdom, Dora Bryan, with the late Bill Owen as Compo and Kathy Staff as the determined Nora Batty

The last series, to go on air in the next few weeks, features Peter Sallis as Norman Clegg alongside Russ Abbott, Frank Thornton, Brian Murphy and Burt Kwouk.