1945-2017

Robert Andrew Wass, known professionally as Bobby Knutt, was a British television actor who started in entertainment as a stand-up comedian. He is best known for playing Albert Dingle in Emmerdale and Eddie Dawson in Benidorm as well as his nuerous pantomime appearances

Bobby was born in SheffieldSouth Yorkshire, England. After passing the eleven-plus in 1957 he went to Abbeydale Grammar school in Sheffield. Whilst still at school, he started out in showbusiness as a singer in a group called Bob Andrews and the Questors in 1961. He then moved on to another group, the Whirlwinds, in 1963, and in 1964 formed a comedy double act called Pee & Knutt. His partner Geoff Morton refused to turn professional, so in 1965 he went on his own calling himself Bobby Knutt, one of the youngest pro comedians in the country. He was first known for his performances on the Granada Television show The Comedians and The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club. In 1977, he was given the lead role in the BBC's The Price of Coal directed by Ken Loach, allowing him to move beyond comedy. He has since acted in many British television comedies and dramas including Last of the Summer WineHeartbeatHetty Wainthropp InvestigatesAll Creatures Great & SmallOur Friends in the NorthEmmerdale as Albert Dingle and Coronation Street as garage boss Ron Sykes.

Knutt was married to Donna Hartley-Wass, bronze medalist in the 1980 Olympic Games in the 4x400m relay, from 20 January 1986 until her death in 2013. On his 25th wedding anniversary he was quoted as saying, "I wish I'd married my third wife first".

He has had regular roles in 14 pantomimes at Sheffield's Crucible and Lyceum theatres. In 2008, he published his autobiography Eyup Knutty followed by the sequel Eyup Again in 2010. He later worked as a comedian on cruise ships and provided the voice of "Gaffer" on Tetley Tea Folk TV ads. In 2012, he had a shoulder replacement operation which went badly wrong, disabling his right arm thus depriving him of his ability to play guitar which was a regular finale to his cabaret act on the cruise ships. Owing to this he had reluctantly retired from live entertainment and stuck to acting.

In September 2017, Knutt planned to take a break after heavily touring since May 2016, with The Grumbleweeds, as the opening act on their Laughter Show. His original plans were for him and his girlfriend to go travelling around Scotland in their motorhome, from September 2017 to the middle of December 2017, in order to be back home in time for Christmas 2017. According to The Grumbleweeds, he was really looking forward to it, but evidently, the whole trip was a disaster. So, at the last minute, they booked a holiday in Southern France, which was planned to last from September 2017 to the middle of December 2017, in order to back home in time for Christmas 2017. On 25 September 2017, whilst still on holiday in the south of France, Knutt suffered a major heart attack and was rushed to hospital. He later died at the age of 71, being survived by his two children.

PANTOMIME HISTORY

1981/82 Cinderella - Crucible Theatre Sheffield

1986/87 Jack & the Beanstalk at the Crucible Sheffield

1987/88 Cinderella at the Sheffield Crucible

1988/89 Mother Goose at the Sheffield Crucible

1989/90 Babes in the Wood at the Sheffield Crucible

1991/92 Babes in the Wood at the Doncaster Dome

1993/94 Cinderella at the Sheffield Crucible

1994/95 Snow White at the Sheffield Lyceum

1997/98 Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Billingham 

1998/99 Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Southport Theatre

1999/00 Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Charter Theatre Preston

2000/01 Aladdin at the Pomegarante Theatre Chester

2001/02 Jack & The Beanstalk at thePomegranate Theatre

2003/04 Cinderella - Bridlington Spa

2004/05 Snow White - Bridlington Spa

2006/07 Sleeping Beauty - Doncaster Civic

2007/08 Cinderella - Sheffield Lyceum

2008/09 Aladdin - Sheffield Lyceum

TV ROLES

2016-2017 - Benidorm (ITV) as Eddie Dawson

2013 - The Syndicate

2000 - City Central as Freddie Fletcher

2000 - Last of the Summer Wine (BBC) as Stanley

2000 - Doctors (BBC) as Jimmy

1998 - The Bill (ITV) as Santa

1996 - Hetty Wainthrope Investigates

1996 - Our Friends in the North

1995-2004 - Emmerdale (ITV)  as Albert Dingle

1994 - Common as Muck

1994 - Earthfasts as Frank Watson

1993-1996 - Heartbeat (ITV) In various roles

1993-1994 - Three Seven Eleven as Councillor Bamber

1990 - Stay Lucky

1989 - All Change

1987 - How We Used to Live as Albert Selby

1985 - All Creatures Great and Small (BBC)

1980-1983 - Coronation Street (ITV) as Ron Sykes

Click on image to enlarge (Funeral pics)
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