Herbert Tsangtse “Burt” Kwouk O.B.E
18 July 1930 – 24 May 2016
Most people will remember Burt Kwouk as Mr Entwistle, the philosophical handyman in ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ or perhaps as Inspector Clouseau’s karate chopping valet Cato in the ‘Pink Panther’ films, or maybe even the well meaning but misguided Major Yamauchi in ‘Tenko’ and a thousand other characters east of Java… but for the mothers, children and idle students of the mid 80’s Burt Kwouk was chip shop owner Willie Wok in Granada TV’s children’s series ‘Tickle on the Tum’…
…Look down – there’s Tickle Town and there’s the river Tum!
Burt enjoyed coming up to Manchester to record the show because he said that it felt like coming home. He had been born in Warrington, to the west of the city, for the only reason that his pregnant mother happened to be there at the time! 10 months later he returned with his parents to Shanghai. He was a charming man, quiet and gently humoured and a pleasure to know.
Here in this clip from “Tickle on the Tum” Ralph McTell and Jacqui Reddin sing a song about Willie Wok and his Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop.
“Egg Foo Yung and six penn’orth of chips please!”
Ralph McTell and Jacqui Reddin singing Willie Wok’s Chip Shop from ‘Tickle on the Tum’
— from Martyn Day