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Breakfast Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Words of Wisdom
Norman Wisdom
A cameo role in the BBC's 'Casualty' in 1998
At 87, you might think it was time for Norman Wisdom to call a it a day, but nothing could be further from the truth.

So far this year he's travelled to Singapore and Hong Kong; he's got plans to shoot another two films, and recently told a newspaper that he had no plans to stop enjoying himself.

'My Turn' is his story from ragged beginnings to eventual stardom that would see him emerge as a national hero in Albania of all places.

  • Click here to see our interview with Norman Wisdom this moning


    Norman Wisdom
    "From ragged beginnings"

    Norman's early days were not happy. He was beaten by his drunken father, abandoned by his mother who left him to fend for himself along with his brother.

    His journey to film comic success followed an early career as delivery boy, waiter and pageboy; jobs that undoubtedly contributed to his roles as the hapless loser who somehow always managed to save the day.

    Norman served in the British army in India where he learned to play the trumpet.

    He was also a keen boxer and earning a living from fairgrounds.

    His first headlining film Trouble in Store in 1953 proved a record-breaking hit and Norman received a BAFTA as Best Newcomer.

    It was the first in a series of runaway successes.

    Norman Wisdom
    87 years old, but more films planned
    Norman's unique brand of 'knockabout' humour earned him a knighthood in 2000; two years before he appeared in BBC1's Casualty playing a 'straight role' in the drama.

    In February of this year, he was given the Bernard Delfont Award for Outstanding Contribution to Show business at the Royal Variety Club Showbiz Awards.

    Norman is determined to go on. The man known as 'Pitkin' in Albania, was the only western comic allowed by communist authorities there. His enduring brand of humour has seen kept millions laughing for more than five decades.

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    Norman Wisdom

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    16 Apr 99 | Entertainment
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