Wisdom made his debut as a professional entertainer at the age of 31; his rise to the top was phenomenally fast. Performing on stages in London and Brighton, he had already adopted the costume that would remain his trademark: tweed flat cap askew, with peak turned up; a suit at least two sizes too tight; a crumpled collar and a mangled tie. The character that went with this costume—known as “the Gump”—was to dominate Wisdom’s film career. Forged a career as an actor starring in many low-budget comedies beginning with ‘Trouble In Store’ (1953) for which he was awarded a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer to Film in 1954.
Wisdom had a talent for portraying an awkward helplessness in his characters, which was exacerbated by his slapstick comedy, and appeared to make him an endearing prospect to female characters. He was knighted in 2000 for services to entertainment and spent most of his later life on the Isle of Man.
Norman Wisdom appeared at the Globe on April 20 1959.