Before taking over as producer/director of Last of the Summer Wine, Alan had a varied career in the BBC’s Light Entertainment department.
His main claim to fame was as director of the silent slapstick films in Crackerjack. These films were a very popular part of the show and besides directing them, he wrote about sixty of them. This experience of visual comedy stood him in good stead for much of the visual comedy in Last of the Summer Wine.
Alan also worked with Morecambe and Wise and directed them in some short sequences. It was Alan’s idea to have the singing guests join in the comedy – which became a highlight of the series.
Alan made the final two episodes of Ripping Yarns – which received a BAFTA award, and followed them with award winning Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is generally perceived to be the best version (even without the modern day computer graphics).Then came Last of the Summer Wine, were Alan was very much at home with a comedy series that amused the nation.