The Secret Birthday of Norman Clegg


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As I've previously posted I'm going through the entire series in chronological order, over a year and counting.....

I found this episode quite unique, it didn't seem to follow the normal formulaic threads Roy Clarke usually writes in the later series (i.e. Howard & Marina in a new adventure, a prop provided by Auntie Wainwright etc..)

I did find it quite quaint to watch but it didn't really have a strong storyline at all. I was wondering whether other forum experts made of this episode ?
I quite like it, not only Cleggy gets hot under the collar when they all stand at the Bus stop suited and booted but Howard is inconsolable when he spots Marina with Cleggy and then Truly and is panicked because he is constrained by Pearl's presence at the wedding and can do nothing to discern the real truth of why Marina is there . I like Norman's escape at the end .


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It's memorable to me because it's the first time Wesley is spoken about in the past tence, other then that it seems a very mellow episode. I don't really enjoy many after that.
I find it really interesting that different people on this forum like different periods in the chronology of the comedy.

I find LOTSW 3 types of comedy in one;

In the early years it is very gritty, anti establishment almost a black comedy
Then it evolves into a very physical comedy particularly when Compo was at his prime
Then the last years, its becomes very gentle, 'silly' & completely inoffensive

This is what makes this the best comedy of all time (in my humble opinion) if someone only saw the first and last episode they would never believe it was the same programme. You couldn't say that about most other long running sitcoms such as Only Fools & Horses, He-De-Hi, Are You Being Served to name but a few.....


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Staff member
I m a real fan of early up to about 19/20 I like others after that but my go to is around 7/8/9/10
I like the episode, but the storyline of everyone invited to a wedding except Truly and Clegg seems unlikely. Surely Clegg would have known most people in the area having lived there so many years? Apart from that, the rest of the episode is quite enjoyable, and Howard gets some good lines when he spots them having dinner with Marina.


Well-Known Member
Yes, a major flaw. Even if Clegg and Truly hadn't been invited to the wedding, surely they would have heard about it from Entwistle, Alvin etc etc.

I think this episode was made in 2002 and shown in 2003. I'm not going to check.

This would make Clegg around 81 or 82 if FOTSW is anything to go by.

But a previous thread claimed Compo's passport in Last Post and Pigeon said HIS date of birth was 1923, so I would expect Clegg to be very close to that age.

Maybe Clegg pushed the boat out here and went to a posh hotel to celebrate his 80th birthday.