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One of the very last genuine masters of the music hall, Sir Norman Wisdom died last week in a nursing home on his beloved Isle Of Man, aged 95 years old. To celebrate the life of this much-loved, sparkle-eyed clown of British comedy, BBC 2 have put together a commemorative afternoon and early evening of some of Wisdom's best work as well as a tragic-comic documentary dating from a few years ago, detailing Wisdom's ailing health and his family's attempts to cope with the problems posed by old age.
First up is On The Beat, a 1962 feature made when Wisdom was plumb in the middle of a rich vein of money-making films all constructed around his comic talents for agile body-comedy and deadpan melancholia. In On the Beat, Wisdom is a plodding policeman who, in trying to emulate his idolised father (also wearer of the blue uniform), only instigates a series of small-scale catastrophes for the general public and his law-enforcing colleagues.