Comedy writer Ronnie Wolfe dies aged 89

Comedy writer Ronnie Wolfe has died at the age of 89 it has been announced. The writer will be best remembered for co-creating comedies On The Buses and The Rag Trade.

Wolfe died after hitting his head in a fall, his son-in-law said reports BBC News. Wolfe co-created the hugely popular comedy On The Buses with long-term writing partner Ronald Chesney. The comedy revolved around bus driver Stan (Reg Varney), conductor Jack (Bob Grant) and their inspector Blakey (Stephen Lewis).

On The Buses was rejected by the BBC when the two writers pitched it but was picked up by LWT, the London weekend franchise of ITV. On The Buses ran for seven seasons between 1969 and 1973 and also starred Anna Karen and Doris Hare. It spawned three cinema movies as well; On The Buses, Holiday on the Buses and Mutiny on the Buses. A short-lived spin-off, Don’t Drink The Water, starring Stephen Lewis and Pat Coombs lasted for 13 episodes between 1974 and 1975.

Wolfe and Chesney also created comedy The Rag Trade which originally ran on the BBC between 1961 and 1963 and was later revived by LWT between 1977 and 1978. The original BBC series starred Shelia Hancock, Esma Cannon, Wanda Ventham and Reg Varney. The LWT version starred Gillan Taylforth and Anna Karen reprising her On The Buses role of Olive.