Talk:Norman Wisdom

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Former featured article candidateNorman Wisdom is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
October 10, 2010Featured article candidateNot promoted
In the newsA news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on October 6, 2010.

Copy vio?[edit]

substantial amounts of this article are trawled from the official norman wisdom site http://www.normanwisdom.org

? That site no longer appears to be live. -- Arwel (talk) 17:10, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, then the link should not be there, right? Replaced link to official site with link to the last version in the wayback. Lomedae talk 14:13, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Date of parents' marriage[edit]

Anon editor 82.38.33.211, making their only edit to Wikipedia, has changed the date of the marriage of Norman's parents from 1912 to 1915, which would make Norman illegitimate. Since this editor has not provided any citations to back up this edit, and it's the only edit s/he has ever made, I'm regarding it as vandalism and reverting it per WP:BLP. -- Arwel (talk) 08:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Norman seems to be in trouble (recent article in Daily Mail)[edit]

Revealed: Why Sir Norman Wisdom's family won't let his friends see him

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=474778&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true#StartComments

"As Sir Norman Wisdom sits alone in his spartan room in an anonymous nursing home in the Isle of Man, he must wonder how it has come to this.

The floor is covered in lino, the hospital-style bed uncomfortably hard. His furniture consists of two plastic chairs, a plastic wardrobe and a plastic chest of drawers. There are few mementoes, rarely any visitors, and little to break up the monotony of his days."

Sounds much like happened to Brooke Astor the New York socialite.

All to common. There is a wikipedia article about it (elder abuse) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_abuse

The article was total rubbish, made up by the newspaper. Totally refuted by his agent and an article in today's News of the World -- SteveCrook 22:58, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Norman J Wisdom?[edit]

Why does this middle initial keep getting added to this article. If this is indeed his correct middle name, someone better tell Sir Norman himself cos he is doesn't even know this! Eugenespeed 23:14, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I checked the official records and his name is listed as Norman J. Wisdom. I haven't yet discovered what the J stands for. His mother's maiden name was Targett. The entry is given on page 313 of Births Registered in January, February and March 1915 of the FreeBMD Birth Index for England and Wales, 1837-1983, with a reference (presumably) to the official record in Volume 1a, Page 1033. Hope that helps. AncientBrit (talk) 00:10, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Note that the record of his marriage in 1947 also shows "Norman J" Mayalld (talk) 19:03, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Filling room?[edit]

In an exclusive interview on 27 August with the News of the World, journalists were given access to Wisdom's now filling room and routine at the home, where he claimed to be happy and content in a routine which his family and carers considered kept him safe from the memory losses associated with his condition.

I don't understand what this is meant to mean. Filling room? Or is it meant to be filing room? Jooler 09:13, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I think you're reading wrong.

His now filling room, as in, he's getting more stuff so his room is filling up.

It may have been empty when he first moved in.

Eugenespeed 14:16, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

It needs to be reworded it does not make sense as it is, there is not enough context to understand that "the room is filling up". Filling with what? Water; furniture; object d'art; mementos; presents; people; detritus? etc? Jooler 20:03, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm Stuart Halliday of the normanwisdom.co.uk site and I'm in weekly telephone contact with his family. Kim Wisdom told me that his room at the Home was initially empty as people with his condition can break out into uncontrolled emotions like anger/frustration (see [Multi-infarct dementia]).
Thankfully Norman hasn't shown this symptom. His room now contains familiar objects from his past (photos of family, etc.) and he's happily settled in. His mates on the island take him out for car trips virtually every day.
Sadly people who are not medical experts seemingly saw this bare room as a sign he was going into a sort of prison and made a big fuss about it in a newspaper. --Quatermass (talk) 10:45, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I'm sure that I speak for everyone in expressing our personal sympathies for the family and wishing Norman well. cheers Kbthompson (talk) 11:35, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Death?[edit]

Why has 81.77.220.101 added a date of death to Mr Wisdom's page? I have heard no official announcement of such a thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RossMcG (talkcontribs) 03:02, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Sky News seemed to have a page, but have since taken it down, and the BBC have not said anything, so a mistake by Sky News perhaps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.56.48.112 (talk) 18:49, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

http://www.normanwisdom.com/ says

"BREAKING NEWS : News Reports are false - Sir Norman Wisdom Alive and Well. I have just Spoken to Nick Wisdom and he has confirmed Norman is fine." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.9.211.186 (talk) 19:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

oopsie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.7.235.36 (talk) 00:28, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Blanket email response from Sky News when I asked them to make an apology on their website for falsely stating Sir Norman Wisdom had died:-

Thanks very much for your email. This is an official statement from Sky News.

A Sky News spokesman, "As soon as Sky News was made aware that a pre-prepared video obituary of Norman Wisdom was running online, it took immediate steps to rectify the publishing error. We apologise for any confusion caused."

Phil Thomas Sky News Online producer —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.11.220.238 (talk) 01:14, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Is Sir Norman Wisdom dead?

A Hungarian news of him death: the actor died in december of the 2008. [SZÍNES rtv (in English about COLOURED radio- and and tv programme) weekly paper 17th week in 2009, page 14] Ronasdudor (talk) 12:03, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Awards[edit]

There are no awards on his page —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.66.94.91 (talk) 19:03, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I've fixed it. Have a nice day, Rosenknospe (talk) 08:56, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

While the article at one point refers to him as Sir Norman Wisdom, I see no reference to the awarding of his knighthood by the queen. His obituary in yesterday's "New York Times" contains two paragraphs that refer to that event:

"But he remained beloved in Britain, where he gave many command performances for the royal family. His most talked-about came in 2000, when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. As widely reported in the British news media, Mr. Wisdom, leaving the ceremony, could not resist stumbling.

The queen, the British press reported, was Most Amused. " —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.166.89.205 (talk) 02:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

It is in the third paragraph of the "Later career" section, the London Gazette entry (currently reference 23) where all awards of this type are reported. Keith D (talk) 11:27, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

So it is. I failed to see that and thank you for pointing it out. My apologies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.166.89.205 (talk) 11:52, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Put in care as a child[edit]

Why was he put into a children's home? Was his brother put there too? Nietzsche 2 (talk) 11:31, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

First marriage[edit]

Does anyone have any info? Nietzsche 2 (talk) 11:33, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

International comedy anomalies[edit]

Perhaps there should be a special subsection, on comedy performers who are regarded as old-fashioned and a bit embarrassing in their native land, but achieve surprising success in foreign countries. It would have to include Wisdom's popularity in Albania, as well as the French and Jerry Lewis, American fondness for Benny Hill and ARE YOU BEING SERVED?, and Australia and THE GOODIES (and THE GOON SHOW, some would argue). Dolmance (talk) 17:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

This passage - I wrote it a couple of years ago - is clearly OR:

The obvious incongruity of a fifty-year old man playing the Prime Minister's grandson in Press for Time (1966) counted against him; Wisdom's age was inaccurately reported for many years.

A quick search online uncovers endless commercial sites, but no usable citation to support my opinion. The decline of Wisdom's film career clearly needs a better explanation. Philip Cross (talk) 14:40, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Opening description[edit]

The opening line describes him as various things including singer, songwriter and musician. I can't see any mention of these activities in the article. Musician ? What instrument ? -- Beardo (talk) 03:46, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Sir Norman plays almost every instrument in the orchestra. I believe there's a scene in one or two of his films where he displays this talent. He certainly incorporated it in his live shows, and it's mentioned in his autobiography. He basically took the attitude "how hard can it be?" and found that he could play most instruments. DavidFarmbrough (talk) 04:17, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Football supporter[edit]

In the article it claims he was a lifelong Brighton & Hove albion supporter, this is not correct. Sir Norman was a lifelong Newcastle United supporter, this is what he said in a radio interview in the early to mid 1990's broadcast on Metro Radio, when he was at a game at St. James Park. Although he was a member of the board at Brighton. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Mercenary 73 (talkcontribs) 09:42, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Is the boxing championship bona fide information?[edit]

Sadly, this site has been a victim of several acts of vandalism recently. I've cleared up one already. Now I am wondering whether the article's statement that he was an army boxing champion in India is true or another piece of misplaced humour. None of the newspaper articles cited that I have looked at mentions it. I do not have access to Norman Wisdom's book about his own life to see if it is mentioned in there.Nandt1 (talk) 21:15, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

It is cited by The Daily Telegraph: "Sir Norman Wisdom - Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-05., so I'll add a reference now. Rodhullandemu 21:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Is that not a little dangerous? As has already been proved, many media sources printed patently false biographical details in their obituaries based primarily on information found on Wikipedia. So is it not circular logic to cite these obituaries as sources for the information? It seems to suggest that you could 'prove' anything to be true by posting it in a wiki page, waiting for a newspaper (etc) to repeat your lie and then citing the newspaper article as the source.--82.17.89.4 (talk) 16:38, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems bizarre that people here would make an assumption that a major newspaper would have copied facts from Wikipedia without any evidence that this is actually the case. If you search on Google Books, you'll see sources (e.g. MacNab's J. Arthur Rank and the British film industry) from as far back as 1994 (way before this article existed) confirming that Wisdom was the "former flyweight boxing champion of the British army in India".--Michig (talk) 17:49, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
No assumptions, those same newspapers printed corrections and apologies. Several newspapers and news sources covered these errors, most crowing over lazy journalists at rival publications lifting 'facts' from wikipedia without verifying them. The vicious circle described is not only possible, I'd lay good money that there are already many instances of wikipedia articles citing sources which themselves lifted those 'facts' from the wikipedia articles. It's an issue which would need to be dealt with at the very top of the wikipedia hierarchy and somehow I don't foresee them deciding to decree that every single citation and fact be re-verified. They'd rather someone else shoulder the responsibility. --82.17.91.224 (talk) 19:19, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree that this boxing section is sufficiently referenced. Unfortunately, the assumption that a major newspaper would copy facts from Wikipedia is completely justified, as at least three nationals copied a "fact" about Wisdom writing "Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover" that had only just been added on the page during the night. Bob talk 18:04, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

That isn't sufficient cause to assume that any fact in any newspaper is incorrect.--Michig (talk) 18:38, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

To pick up on this theme -- of how far newspaper stories may be liable to be corrupted by vandalism (or insecure claims) within Wikipedia -- I note that someone has now found a reference in a Mirror website claiming that Norman Wisdom helped write the song "Bluebirds over...." in spite of multiple sources attributing it to two Americans. I remain dubious of the "Bluebirds" claim. For more on this, see the Wikipedia site for the song.Nandt1 (talk) 00:33, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

They should be more aware of how we work, rather than not being lazy and actually doing their own research. I've seen too many examples of this, when in parallel they accuse us of unreliability. If journalists spent more time at the British Library rather than sitting on their lazy arses in their expense-fuelled offices, perhaps they'd have a tad more credibility; having said that, if I were paid to be a full-time researcher for Wikipedia, (a) I'd be able to eat properly and (b) the money wouldn't be wasted, since I would go to the libraries, and also I am trained to evaluate sources for reliability. Overpaid cints. Fick them. Parasites. Rodhullandemu 00:51, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Sometimes, we almost get it right...[edit]

Despite all the above (quite correct and proper, do not get me wrong) angst over the validity, sourcing and accuracy of this article; I feel it nevertheless currently retains, in both fluidity and style, a calm, sweet but balanced image of a well-loved innocent gentleman. Well done Wiki.

Derek R Bullamore (talk) 00:42, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I think that's largely because Norman is better-known to those of us who were born and grew up in the 1950s, a difficult but more gentle time, and he epitomised the model of the small hero. Younger people, who may be more inclined to vandalise, won't have been there and have been gratefully absent from this article. Accordingly, since it hasn't been under heavy editing, I'll remove the "recent death" tag, since it's not intended for this situation. A reference to the European Parliament translation of "la sagesse Normande" into English, and its effect on the UK delegation in the 1980s would be worth looking for. Rodhullandemu 00:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, good job the vandals didn't get to the article: [1] 87.115.231.201 (talk) 07:21, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
<Sigh> It's pretty unbelievable, really. For one thing, I'm quite surprised that newspapers hadn't already prepared an obituary. For another, Wisdom only really began his career after the army, so I'm not sure how they thought he could have written a popular song from 1941. I remember thinking quite a few of the newspapers were running pieces quite similar to this page, with its bizarrely long "Albania" section. Bob talk 08:30, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Sadly, some of these comments are overly optimistic -- look around and the vandals did damage on multiple points -- has name, his alleged authorship of a popular song (which made it into the mainstream press), some (admittedly shortlived) silly stuff about his scoring a goal in a football game, and who knows what else......Nandt1 (talk) 01:05, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Norman Wisden[edit]

As pointed out by User:Leebarden, numerous sources are reporting that Norman was born Norman Wisden.[2] This has implications for the accuracy and verification of the other family members' details, as well as his middle name. It's probably best to get rid of FreeBMD and "official records" as any type of source for this article. -- zzuuzz (talk) 12:10, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I have just put these back as the GRO Index definitely has Wisdom for both the marriage and for the birth entry. Have we anything more reliable? I do not think that they would have got both entries wrong. Keith D (talk) 12:26, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd note that most of the Wisden references look similar - like syndication of a single story, or something. Let's hope it wasn't taken from this article. I'm not too convinced about it myself. Perhaps his autobiography has some relevant information? -- zzuuzz (talk) 12:30, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I would take the autobiography as the definitive word, although performers have been known to gloss over their origins - I wonder where the New York Times got their information? Acroterion (talk) 12:44, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I was going to check out the autobiography but they had none in stock this afternoon. Keith D (talk) 16:29, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I have this "real name" in a book dated 1977, so it's not a new idea. I know a lot of people called him "Wisden" when I was growing up, presumably from the very popular Almanac, which used to annoy me. A good example of this simple error (if indeed it is such) is at this page. The GRO Index is persuasive but not convincing, the actual certificate or entry would I think close the case. All the best: Rich Farmbrough23:46, 9 July 2014 (UTC).

Self-referential material[edit]

I have removed this segment, as it's a bit self referential, and not really about the man. I guess it could go in the section about his "premature obituary". Bob talk 18:10, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

In 2010, his Wikipedia page was subject to a subtle alteration which suggested that he provided lyrics for the song popular during the Second World War, (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover. The edit was made amidst other valid alterations just over a month before his death. Mirror and Guardian journalists who used Wikipedia as a primary source consequently gave erroneous information to their readers.[1]

I don't think it should be there at all, per WP:SUBJECT. Rodhullandemu 18:19, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
the fact the it caused news in the world at large means it should be there. Nasnema  Chat  20:58, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
News about Wikipedia. But not news about Norman Wisdom, which is the topic of this article. Rodhullandemu 21:02, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I'll concede this.[2] Nasnema  Chat  21:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Given what the story in the supplied reference says about Rodhullandemu, isn't there a conflict of interest going on in this discussion?! ;-) 92.8.51.253 (talk) 09:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Whatever mistakes are made by journalists too lazy to check their facts, our guidelines remain in force, and I will continue to ensure that they are applied. Rodhullandemu 16:35, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
As a matter of interest: eventually, on 11 October, after a few people, including myself, had pointed out the edit history here, The Register withdrew their allegations against the above editor: Correction: Norman Wisdom and Wikipedia and also revised their original story. Barsoomian (talk) 17:16, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks to all who have pointed out the error; Cade Metz of The Register has now agreed that the diff in which I reverted vandalism did not display the "White Cliffs of Dover" error, so I was unaware of it at the time. A little short of an apology, but a step forward. Rodhullandemu 17:31, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Being the chap who first added the reference about the Register article, I did look back at the history of the page, however I missed the very latest edits. I have re-added about the error, but omitted references to WP and any self references. I feel that the errors stand, and even though they were only briefly in the public domain (and certainly in printed form) those sorts of things get remembered (c.f. Bob Holness did not play the saxophone part on Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street', and countless other mis-attributions). If this was out of line, I do apologise, but I feel it is a better representation than what was there before. Jefph (talk) 23:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Cosmic! Lost and Found and paperweight[edit]

Apparently the last film starring Norman Wisdom, Patrick Moore and Ray Harryhausen is under production called Cosmic! Lost and Found.

Site of the film

Simply south (talk) and their tree 19:30, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Charlie Chaplin[edit]

Charlie Chaplin was a hero of his and he went to see him but was told: "No one gets to see Mr Chaplin." Norman Wisdom tried phoning him up and when he gave his name, Chaplin told him to come around right away, having seen and liked the Norman Wisdom films. They spent 90 minutes together. (178.236.117.122 (talk) 22:27, 8 December 2013 (UTC))

A reliable reference is needed WP:REF. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mthinkcpp (talkcontribs) 12:53, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I have a Chaplain biography somewhere, presented to my by the late Dave Allan (no not that one) and some friends. I'll try to check it. All the best: Rich Farmbrough23:51, 9 July 2014 (UTC).

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Winston Churchill anecdote[edit]

I have removed an anecdote that Wisdom was once disciplined for calling Winston Churchill 'Winnie' when working in a communications bunker in World War II. It was slipped in before an existing reference to Wisdom's autobiography by an IP user at 21:32 on 4 October 2010 after Wisdom's his death was announced and was subsequently quoted elsewhere. A source quoting this anecdote before 4 October 2010 is required to verify it. Sealman (Talk) 08:15, 10 April 2016 (UTC))

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