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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Wisdom set for Coronation cameo
Sir Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman, 89, will play a fitness fanatic
Comic veteran Sir Norman Wisdom is to make an appearance in long-running soap opera Coronation Street.

The 89-year-old will grace the series as elderly fitness fanatic Ernie Crabbe, who saves Jack Duckworth from a stringent exercise regime.

Bosses at the ITV1 soap said they were "delighted" at their new signing, who is a long-time fan of the series.

The last well-known comic face to make a cameo in Coronation Street was Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay.

"It is an honour to have Sir Norman on the show and his cameo will be great fun," a spokeswoman for the programme said.

Sir Norman has appeared on television and the silver screen since the 1940s, and has won a legion of fans for his slapstick antics.

Albanian fans

He won a Bafta for his performance in Trouble In Store in 1954 and was honoured with a knighthood in the 2001 New Year's Honours list.

Wisdom is particularly cherished in Albania, where his films were considered politically acceptable during the days of Stalinist rule.

Another comic performer who had a recent run in Coronation Street was Roy Hudd, who played undertaker Archie Shuttleworth.

His character assisted Audrey Roberts in uncovering "Corrie killer" Richard Hillman, whose reign of terror helped the programme win a clutch of awards - and the ratings battle with arch-rival EastEnders.

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