Fans across the world pay respects for lifetime of laughter

Even in life’s darkest moments, co-writer of hit sitcom On the Buses, Ronnie Wolfe, could always see the funny side.

Mr Wolfe, 89, died on December 18 after he hit his head in a fall at a respite home.

The day after his death, the family home in Grosvenor Gardens, Temple Fortune, descended into chaos.

The decorator was round finishing off some home improvements, daughter Debbie Wolfe had to ask her mother’s carer to leave and to cap it all, the phone lines had gone down.

Ms Wolfe, who followed her father into the entertainment business and has worked on programmes for Channel 4, said: “We have all inherited that ability to find humour out of something very tragic.


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“He would find humour in everything, even if you didn’t want him to.

“He probably would have found humour in his own death.”

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Mr Wolfe, who had lived in Temple Fortune with wife Rose for more than half a century, wrote for the golden age of radio and television comedy.

Making up half of “The Other Two Ronnies” partnership with Ronnie Chesney, Mr Wolfe wrote The Rag Trade and On the Buses – characterised by chipper, workshy working-class characters.

He was born to Jewish working-class parents in Shoreditch in the 1930s.

Mr Wolfe took a job in the Marconi radio factory where he found much of his inspiration for his subsequent script-writing.

After selling his first script at just 19 years of age, Mr Wolfe went on to write for radio programme Educating Archie, fronted by Beryl Reid, before going into television with Mr Chesney, now 92.

Although The Rag Trade – starring Barbara Windsor and Sheila Hancock – was initially turned down by ITV, the BBC plumped for it.

It went on to be a huge hit, being remade in countries across the world.

Despite that success, the BBC turned down On the Buses, which was taken up by LWT.

The programme garnered 16million viewers and was turned into a film which aired on ITV3 over Christmas.

Since his death, the family have been flooded with messages of condolences from fans across the world.

Mr Wolfe leaves behind daughters Debbie, Kathryn and wife Rose.

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