The news that Trevor Bannister has died is very sad. He co-starred with Brian Wilde in my BBC sitcom Wyatt’s Watchdogs and I got to know him a little over the time we made the show.
For me, Trevor was an old school sit-com heavyweight. Years of making us laugh in Are You Being Served? made him hugely popular with audiences particularly in the UK, Australia and the USA.
When producer Alan J. W. Bell suggested his name as a possible co-star, I welcomed it despite the fact that I had to rewrite the episodes to feature Trevor more (originally the show was to hang on Brian only).
It was a good decision though. Trevor and Brian worked off each other very well. Brian the authority obsessed, fussy, know-all and Trevor the womanising, sarcastic, cheeky thorn in his flesh.
They made a great double act. They already knew each other having both been in Jack Rosenthal’s hit show The Dustbinmen and the chemistry was evident from the first day of filming. In fact it was their constant bickering in Wyatt’s Watchdogs that made it such a joy to watch.
We shot the series at Claygate in Surrey and for Trevor it must have been the best location he’d ever been sent on as he and his wife Pamela lived only twenty minutes away in Thames Ditton!
Trevor was a superb actor with immaculate comedy timing learnt from years on the stage and numerous TV shows. And he was just as funny off-camera as on. Great company to have a drink with at the end of the day.
Another one gone! He’ll be sadly missed.