Former home of comedian Sir Norman Wisdom for sale for £1.25m

Former home of comedian Sir Norman Wisdom for sale for £1.25m

August 27, 2019

Fans will be falling over themselves! Former home of comedian Sir Norman Wisdom with panoramic rural views is up for sale for £1.25m

  • Comedian Sir Norman’s (1915 – 2010) former four bedroom home is up for sale where he lived for 27 years 
  • The aptly named ‘Ballalaugh’ is situated at Andreas – a village in the centre of the Isle of Man
  • Property is marketed by Chrystals Estate Agents with asking price of £1.25m

comedian Sir Norman Wisdom (1915 – 2010)

A former home of comedian Sir Norman Wisdom is up for sale. 

The aptly named ‘Ballalaugh’ is situated at Andreas – a village on the Isle of Man.

The picturesque country house boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms and spectacular panoramic rural views.

The legendary comedian bought the property in 1980 before moving to Abbotswood Nursing Home in Ballasalla in 2007 where he died three years later in 2010 aged 95.

The property is being marketed by Chrystals Estate Agents with an asking price of £1.25m.

The star, who was one of the country’s best-loved comedians, retired in 1990 after a career that spanned six decades and won him global fame.

He became an unlikely ‘cult’ figure in Albania where thousands of his adoring fans paid tribute to him after his death in 2010 at the age of 95. 

In 1980, he moved to the Isle of Man, and gradually eased himself into semi-retirement. But when he visited Albania, where his films – seen as the little man’s struggle against oppression – were lionised by the Communist regime, he was mobbed in the streets by thousands of fans, and invested with the freedom of the city of Tirana.

Awarded the OBE in 1995, and knighted in 2000, he was still working at the age of 93.

The front facade of the former home of comedian Sir Norman Wisdom is up for sale.The aptly named ‘Ballalaugh’ is situated at Andreas on the Isle of Man

Sir Norman, whose film career began in 1948, described his childhood as ‘straight out of a Charles Dickens novel’.

His mother left home, and his ‘brutal’ and drunken father put his boys into care.

In his youth, he went from job to job, and learnt how to box as a cabin boy on a boat bound for Argentina.

Despite his diminutive stature, Sir Norman, who has been divorced twice, joined the Army, where he discovered, by chance, that he could make people laugh.

Rex Harrison spotted his talent during a charity performance and his career took off, from pantomimes to charity shows at the Victoria Palace with Vera Lynn and Laurel and Hardy.  

Harrison advised him: ‘If you don’t become a professional comedian when you’re back in civvy street, you’re mad.’

Five-foot tall Sir Norman took the advice to heart and, in December 1945, persuaded the manager of Collins Music Hall in Islington, North London, to give him break as a performer. He was billed as Norman Wisdom, The Successful Failure.

Over the next few years he developed his hallmark character, The Gump – an innocent, enthusiastic, but hapless little man always anxious to help.

‘I began to play it up, laying on the pathos to see how far I could stretch it,’ he once said. ‘I felt I had hit upon a unique image.’

His first film for Rank, Trouble In Store, was an instant hit in 1953 and launched the song that would become his theme tune: Don’t Laugh At Me, which made number one in the charts.

The movie, in which his window-dressing ambitions spark chaos in a department store, set the template for the films that followed.

Sir Norman always played the ‘clown’, the clumsy underdog in turned-up cap and ill-fitting suit battling against adversity.

In titles like The Early Bird, The Square Peg and A Stitch In Time, he worked for his nemesis Mr Grimsdale, sparking the catchphrase ‘Ooo, Mr Grimsdale!’.

Between 1955 and 1966, Sir Norman beat Sean Connery’s James Bond to become Britain’s biggest box office draw.

Gump was Sir Norman’s own word for his accident-prone fool character, often called Norman Pitkin.

Charlie Chaplin called the diminutive star his favourite clown and Sir Norman was seen as the natural heir to entertainer George Formby.

Sir Norman summed up his appeal: ‘My comedy is for children from three to 93. You do need a slightly childish sense of humour and if you haven’t got that, it’s very sad.’

Sir Norman’s last film appearance was in 2007, when the comedy legend came out of retirement to appear in short film Expresso – doing a comic turn as a vicar being plagued by a fly.

 

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