Bobby Knutt (2th November 1945 to 25th September 2017)


The television series Benidorm spread itself over ten series and new characters were often introduced to keep it fresh. One was Bobby Nutt (real name Robert Andrew Wass) who played Eddie Dawson “Granddad” since 2016. With a great gut, bouncy boobs and clamorous clothes he played the porky, plain-speaking vulgarian brilliantly. Here I am at his grave besides a large church in Wentworth near Barnsley.


He was born and grew up in Sheffield and there was no 9 to 5 job for him. He was still at school when entered show business as a singer in a group. Aged 19 he formed a comedy double act called Pee & Knutt but his partner didn’t want to turn professional so a year later he went solo. Being naturally comical he found a home in programmes like The Comedians and The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club. Most comedians make good actors and by 32 he was in the lead role in the BBC's The Price of Coal. This propelled him into staple northern roles in Last of the Summer Wine, Heartbeat, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and All Creatures Great & Small. In later years he was rough n ready Albert Dingle in Emmerdale. His last big role was big-gut Eddie in Benidorm.


Over nearly five decades he was a regular face in pantomimes, published two autobiographies and worked as a comedian on cruise ships. Aged 67 he had a shoulder replacement operation which went wrong rendering him unable to play the guitar his act. Aged 71 he was on holiday in the south of France when he suffered a major heart attack. He was rushed to hospital but died.


He was married three times and had two sons and two daughters by his first two wives. The love of his life was his third wife former Olympic athlete Donna Hartley who died suddenly aged 58 from a heart attack. Bobby found her dead in their back garden in June 2013 (she'd been a bodybuilder which can't have helped.) On his 25th wedding anniversary he said, "I wish I'd married my third wife first."


I saw the huge church before I arrived at it and guessed there’d be acres of graveyard. It was small though and I quickly found the grave. Bobby’s dying wish was to be buried with his wife and it was honoured. After four years apart they were reunited.


The area is dominated by Wentworth House, an impressive home with a long frontage and owned privately until recently. I fancied a walk round it. Disappointment set in when I saw it festooned with scaffolding (new roof.) There're some photographs on the internet of this place as about 100 acres of the surrounding fields were quarried for coal. It was of low quality though and the exercise thought to be a spiteful class-war act done to rile the Fitzwilliam family.