He was arguably the world’s grumpiest man when he appeared on the nation’s television screens for the best part of a decade.
Now actor Richard Wilson is reviving curmudgeon Victor Meldrew, star of One Foot In The Grave, in a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The actor and theatre director has decided to step back into the grouchy pensioner’s shoes for an extended run in Edinburgh after the response to an outing for Victor Meldrew at a charity event last year.
Victor’s fans will get to see Wilson step back into the role via an original script from the hit sitcom, before taking questions from the audience at Assembly’s Roxy Central venue.
Greenock-born Wilson shot to fame in the mid-1980s when he played the slippery band manager Eddie Clocherty in John Byrne’s Bafta-winning drama Tutti Frutti, which also featured Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson.
One Foot In The Grave made Wilson a household name, with the show running for ten years before the character was killed off in a car accident.
The programme – which won the best comedy Bafta in 1992 and two Bafta awards for Wilson himself in 1992 and 1994 – was named one of Britain’s top ten sitcoms in 2004.
During his time on the show, Wilson was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to drama and was also appointed rector of Glasgow University.
His most recent television work has included Born And Bred, High Stakes, Merlin and Doctor Who. Three years ago he was honoured with a Bafta Scotland award for an outstanding contribution to film and television.
Wilson, who will have just turned 80 when he takes to the stage in Edinburgh this August, was a regular performer at the Traverse Theatre in the 1960s.
He will be returning to the Fringe for the first time since directing the plays Playing The Victim and East Coast Chicken Supper at the Traverse in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
He said: “Last year I did a one-off fundraising show at the Sheffield Crucible, where I am an associate director.
“I played Victor in the first half, using one of David Renwick’s scripts, then did a question and answer session as myself in the second.
“I can’t tell you how much the audience loved it. I had such a good time we decided to take it to Edinburgh. I loved doing it, so I guess I must miss acting.”
Wilson is the latest big-name Scottish actor to return to the Edinburgh Fringe in recent years, following in the footsteps of John Hannah, Alan Cumming, Blythe Duff and Bill Paterson.
Tickets for Richard Wilson’s Fringe show, which will run from 16-28 August, go on sale next month.