A Summer Wine fit for the Queen
Dec 15 2001 By Jenny Parkin, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner
THE Queen is a huge fan of TV comedy Last Of The Summer Wine - and that's official.
News that she watched the show slipped out during a meeting with actress Dame Thora Hird, one of the stars of the popular series filmed around Holmfirth.
The Queen also told how her mother liked the programme.
Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on the queen's viewing habits.
But makers are wondering if both royals will tune in when the Summer Wine Christmas special is screened on December 30 at 6pm.
Dame Thora said she believed it was the funniest show yet.
She said: "It's wonderful for us to have the opportunity to bring laughter into so many homes from the humblest to the most royal.
"In a way, we regard our Christmas specials as something of a command performance for our 8m fans - who also happen to include the Queen and the Queen Mum."
Dame Thora went on to reveal: "A few years ago Buckingham Palace listed the Queen's favourite viewing and we topped the list on comedy.
"The Queen invited me to lunch - in between giving me my OBE and making me a dame - and told me how much she enjoys Last Of The Summer Wine.
"She said: `My mother never misses it, too.'"
Dame Thora continued: "I'm sure she won't send me to the Tower for telling you this.
"I often think it would be nice if she decided to drop into us during filming around Holmfirth.
"I told her that working at my age, especially in Summer Wine, helps to keep me young.
"God has been so good to me, giving me such a long career, mostly helping to make folk laugh.
"I have so much to thank him for in my prayers every night.
"Now I am looking forward to filming a new series in the summer for screening in 2003, when I will be 92."
Guest stars in the Christmas special, penned by Roy Clarke, are Warren Mitchell and June Whitfield.
They play Lothar and Delphi Potts, a frightfully posh but absolutely potty couple whose marriage has gone off the boil.
Dame Thora said: "We all get involved in various hilarious ways to help put the romance back into their lives.
"We need to laugh. It's an under-valued tonic. Laughing is good for facial muscles and the heart, they say."
Warren Mitchell, 74, is best known as Alf Garnett, the working class whinger in Till Death Us Do Part.
As Lothar Potts he decides to train for a polar expedition - in summertime Yorkshire!