Today, March 20th 2008, I heard the sad news that actor Brian Wilde had died in his sleep in Hertfordshire.
In 1988 Brian starred in my BBC sitcom Wyatt’s Watchdogs. He was a superb actor with the greatest comedy timing I’ve ever seen. It all appeared so effortless and, of course, that was his gift.
When producer Alan J.W. Bell told me that Brian had agreed to play the part of Major John Wyatt in the show, I was absolutely thrilled.
To me the greatest sitcom of all is Porridge and to have anyone from that show’s illustrious cast acting my lines was an honour indeed.
From the moment I first met him when I drove up to Hertfordshire to discuss the series with him and his wife Eva to the last time we had a drink in the BBC club after recording the final episode of Wyatt’s Watchdogs, Brian was a gentleman. He had a lovely dry wit and we had a lot of laughs whilst filming.
Brian’s legacy will continue though and I’m sure his television episodes particularly from Porridge and Last of the Summer Wine will carry on making people laugh for years to come.
He was just so damn good at it.