Alan J W Bell has claimed that departing BBC One boss Jay Hunt wanted rid of Sunday evening comedy Last of the Summer Wine.
Alan J W Bell, the producer and director of Last of the Summer Wine, has claimed that departing BBC One boss Jay Hunt ‘had it in’ for the veteran comedy series. The long-running comedy ended in the Summer after more than 30 years on-air after finally being cancelled by the BBC. The series had been dodging cancellation for several years due to declining ratings and the final nail in its coffin came when BBC One controller Jay Hunt announced it would not be renewed.
Yesterday it was revealed that Jay Hunt would be leaving the BBC to become controller of Channel 4. With the news of the announcement Last of the Summer Wine producer Alan J W Ball took the opportunity to criticise the former BBC One boss over her decision to cancel the comedy.
“It was an act of gross incompetency to kill off the one series suitable for family viewing, that has been running for so long. It, the programme, needed to be modernised, and it was being, but she made the decision without even seeing Russ Abbot’s episodes” – Alan J W Bell quoted in The Evening Standard
While fans of the comedy may agree with Bell’s comments other television viewers may question why the series lasted so long. Ratings for Last of the Summer Wine have been in decline for the past five years and a Radio Times poll a few years ago found it was one of the shows on television viewers most watched to see axed!
The final series of Last of the Summer Wine starred Peter Sallis, Frank Thornton, Trevor Bannister, Barbara Young, Russ Abbot, Brian Murphy, Burt Kwouk, Christopher Beeny, Jean Fergusson, Jean Alexander, Tom Owen, and Josephine Tewson.