There goes the groom?

Ch74

Active Member
#1
Shows Foggy at the start being carried but then only feet. Why was he only written such a small part? Had he passed away by then?
 

Marianna

Well-Known Member
#3
Brian Wilde was still alive, but was off with a bout of shingles that the doctor had told him might be only a minor nuisance, or might be severe and disabling. At the start of the bout there was no way to know which, so as a precaution he took a leave from the series. Then he decided not to return because he no longer felt sufficiently fit to carry on with it.
 
#5
I also recall from a former thread that there was rumours that Brian Wilde made excessive demands regarding his contract and Alan J W Bell tired of this and effectively sacked him .
 

Marianna

Well-Known Member
#6
I also recall from a former thread that there was rumours that Brian Wilde made excessive demands regarding his contract and Alan J W Bell tired of this and effectively sacked him .
I believe that was earlier in the "saga" and may have been the reason he left the series the first time, although I don't recall either Bell's or Vine's books saying that he had been sacked.
 
#7
I am almost certain it was after the second coming and was so acrimonious that he would never return it may have been Sarkus [apologies if it wasn't you] who hinted at the disquiet between Bell and Brian Wilde . Why I thought it was the second series because the first few episodes after he left were clearly written with Foggy in mind and Truly [Frank Thornton] basically had to adapt his character to fit the script as it was too late to rewrite.
 

Marianna

Well-Known Member
#8
I am almost certain it was after the second coming and was so acrimonious that he would never return it may have been Sarkus [apologies if it wasn't you] who hinted at the disquiet between Bell and Brian Wilde . Why I thought it was the second series because the first few episodes after he left were clearly written with Foggy in mind and Truly [Frank Thornton] basically had to adapt his character to fit the script as it was too late to rewrite.
Here's what Alan Bell wrote in his book Last of the Summer Wine: From the Director's Chair in the third from the last paragraph of Chapter 22.

"I was walking home that same day [the day he had first considered Frank Thornton for a guest appearance] when I received a call from Christine Mellor, my assistant, to say that Brian Wilde wouldn't be able to film with us because
he was suffering from an attack of shingles. I immediately asked Christine to check Frank Thornton's availability.
Brian Wtlde then confirmed that he wouldn't be well enough to film for, at least, the first half of the series of ten episodes and suggested that it might be safer to recast his part entirely. I didn't want to do this, for Brian was a valuable asset to the series and would be a great loss."
 

me2

Well-Known Member
#9
I have to agree with Marianna. The problems with Brian Wilde were vast in the first "Foggy Run." He criticized both the directing and the writing, but Brian Wilde wasn't fired, he made the decision to leave. He had said he would not do another season after the film "Getting Sam Home" so they wrote an ending having him disappearing over the edge (I think secretly hoping he would not do another season). But he chose to do one more season and then left.

When he left the second time, his complaints were different. He was having difficulty keeping up with the physical rigors of the filming, asking to do less and less all the time and even asked for his role be downgraded. When he developed Shingles, he was unable to come back for filming at the start of the 19th season.

The part had originally been written for Foggy and in one interview Frank Thornton said he was hired to fill in for just a few episodes, but between the shingles and scheduling difficulties, he ended up doing the whole series. They had Foggy's part in "There Goes the Groom" open ended so he could return later, but according to what Wilde said in an interview, he chose not to go back. I think he would have liked to if the role hadn't been so physically demanding, but he just couldn't handle it anymore. I'm sure there were many who were glad with the outcome, as Brian Wilde hadn't been easy to work with in either of his runs. But from everything I've read and heard on interviews, he was not fired but chose to leave both times.
 
#10
I decided to search the forum and there was a post from Sarkus in 2015 regarding the position with Foggy ,it's this post I remembered please see below :-

The departure of Brian Wilde the second time around remains somewhat unclear. Andrew Vines book says Wilde had asked for a reduced role and then a severe flare up of gout lead to his decision to leave altogether. Alan Bell says Wilde was supposed to try and return mid series with Thornton a temporary replacement, but that Wilde made last minute contract demands that were unacceptable and so he was fired. A third account I've read says nothing about contract issues but says Wilde was supposed to come back mid series as well. His health wouldn't allow it and so episodes had to be rewritten for Truly, something I believe there is evidence for. At that point Wilde was supposed to still film the holiday episode that would air first and explain Foggys absence and was expected to return the following series. At the last moment Wilde for some reason backed out of filming, supposedly due to a scheduling conflict. In my opinion There Goes The Groom shows signs of last minute rewriting. Later Wilde decided not to return to the show at all.

Thorntons first series is uneven, for sure. First because of the issues noted above, where they were shoving Truly into episodes written with Foggy in mind. Second, Bell says Thornton took some time getting used to being in a lead role as he was used to being a supporting actor. The following series I feel is much better as Clarke was able to write with Truly in mind. Of course then things blew up again with Bill Owens death. But in my opinion once things settled down to the Truly-Clegg-Billy trio the show had another nice little run.


All of which seems to leave the real reasons the subject of continued conjecture.
 

wstol

Well-Known Member
#11
Personally I thought Frank Thornton's performance in his first series was excellent and got straight into character.

I didn't think it looked too obvious in that series that there were cast problems, if you ignore Foggy's double and the postwoman's re-appearance at the end of that series.
 

BruceC

Well-Known Member
#13
I'll probably be the odd one out, but wasn't a huge fan of Brian Wilde in LOSW... liked him in Porridge where his bumbling suited the character.
maybe I need to watch more of him...
 

RickAns

Well-Known Member
#14
Maybe it was just a ruse that Foggy had planned so he could go back to his lady friend in Wales. Possibly her mother in law passed away and Foggy felt it was safe to return. :08:

I do recall hearing that Brian was making demands that he should not have been and also that he was ill. Not sure on the timeline for those. Vaguely remember that after LotSW he tried narrating (?) some theater stage play work seated off to the side of the stage. Eventually he was not even able to do that because of his health. Cannot confirm where I heard or read that. Take with grain of salt please.

All in all it was a good thing that Frank Thornton was able to step in and take over. Liked him from the Are You Being Served? series and Grace & Favor.
 
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