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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

Irish people are sharing their lovely memories of Gene Wilder and Willy Wonka

The face of Irish Christmas.

People Gene Wilder Source: AP/Press Association Images

TODAY, WE LEARNED that Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has passed away at the age of 83.

Wilder was one of the best-loved comic actors of all time, and Irish people are remembering him fondly this evening. Here’s why.

Gene Wilder is the face of many an Irish childhood

Even if you never knew his name, you know this face.

And later, he made us laugh as teenagers and adults

Blazing_Saddles_inline_-_Gene_and_Cleavon Source: Hitfix

Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Producers… The man was a comedy genius.

But in particular, he was part of an Irish Christmas tradition


Every year on Christmas morning, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is aired on an Irish TV channel. And despite having seen it so many times they’ve lost count, everyone in the family will sit down and watch it. It’s the law.

christmast Source: Twitter/@neirbOamy

Because of that, we’ll let him away with the ridiculous Irish accent he attempted in this film

Source: p0dlingface/YouTube

Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin in the Bronx shot in Dublin – in the background of this clip you can see the Pepper Canister on Mount Street.

Wilder played an Irish manure seller who falls in love with an American tourist, and well… We won’t hold that accent against him.

quakser Source: Twitter/@Mr_Considerate

And we’ll listen to The Frames’ lovely tribute

Source: SugarPaddyMusic/YouTube

The band famously incorporated Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka into their song Star Star during gigs – it was immortalised on their 2002 live album, Set List. Many people are turning to it tonight for comfort:

Goodbye to one of the best. RIP, Gene.

First published 29/08/2016 10pm

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