19 January 2012
Posted in TV
Gail Renard pays tribute to a long-standing Guild member who died last month
Ronnie Wolfe, co-creator of sitcoms On The Buses and The Rag Trade died at the age of 89 following a fall. His career reads like the history of radio and television comedy.
Ronnie started in the early 1950s, writing Beryl Reid’s material for the BBC radio comedy, Educating Archie. He quickly worked his way up and, when lead writer Erik Sykes left, Ronnie took his place. It was also where Ronnie met his future writing partner, the resident harmonica player, Ronnie Chesney. Ronnie W persuaded Ronnie C to give up his successful act so they could write together. Their partnership, known as 'The Other Two Ronnies', lasted harmoniously for 50 years.
Ronnie C excelled at writing the plots and technical bits; whereas Ronnie W was a master of comic dialogue. He was also good at acknowledging the talents of others; including a young Marty Feldman who joined his series as a junior writer.
Growing in fame, Ronnie wed Rose Krieger in 1953. The headline of the now defunct Evening Star newspaper read: “Ronnie Married His Secretary Because He Knew A Good Thing When He Saw It'. Quite right. As a labour of love, as Rose typed and collated 95% of his work.
Ronnie was a kind, warm, family man and staunch Writers' Guild member for half a century. Until his health prevented, he was a regular at Guild AGMs. 'The Other Two Ronnies’ work is still appreciated on telly and DVDs. His latest book, My Life In Memoirs, was brought out by Kaleidoscope Publishing just over a year ago.
My sincere condolences to his wife, Rose, his two daughters and also to Ronnie Chesney. He’ll be very missed.
Gail Renard is Chair of the Guild's TV Committee
More obituaries for Ronnie Wolfe: