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Wilfred Makepeace Lunn (born 1942 in Rastrick, West Yorkshire, England) is an English inventor, prop maker and TV presenter. He is best known for his regular appearances on the 1960s and 1970s UK children's television show Vision On.
Early life and career
Lunn was born in Rastrick, West Yorkshire, England to deaf parents. His upbringing was to later allow him to teach lip-reading as well as religious education at Odsal House School for the Deaf in Bradford. In the first part of this self-made interview video series "My Best Cellar", available through his website, Lunn claims he was "brought up in a cellar by deaf mutes".
The parents of actor James Mason lived on the same street as Lunn who met Mason when he was visiting them. Mason introduced Lunn to agent Blanche Marvin. Lunn had already written a television play entitled Benny Rolly which, unusually for the time, was without dialogue and Marvin thought it would be of interest to the deaf. She arranged an interview with Patrick Dowling the producer of BBC's Vision On and Lunn took along some of his models to demonstrate. Dowling was unable to employ Lunn but suggested an exhibition of his cycles. On the opening night of the exhibition, which had been arranged by Marvin, TV presenter Joan Bakewell visited and invited Lunn to appear on Late Night Line-Up that night. This was Lunn's first television appearance.
Lunn was later invited to appear on the children's TV show Magpie on which he spoke on a variety of subjects including bottles and the history of the domestic smoothing iron. Meanwhile Dowling approached Lunn with a request to make a 'door-bell machine'. Lunn constructed the device and appeared with it on Vision On. Lunn would go to appear on the programme for many years, with Tony Hart and Sylvester McCoy, demonstrating his latest inventions. He later appeared in several other series, including Jigsaw and Eureka.
Lunn is a prolific constructor of novelty bicycles and an inventor of strange devices, amongst which was a collection formerly to be found in the Inventions Bar, Newcastle upon Tyne. Lunn has also appeared as an after-dinner speaker for many functions including the Edinburgh School of Architecture Winter School, and the Society of Industrial Artists Golden Jubilee. He has also been a member of the panel of judges for the World Disco Championship.
When asked, in an interview with the b3ta website, "In the event of the end of the world, what would be the last thing you'd do before death?" Lunn answered: "I'm constantly being told at the end I would turn to God. I always point out it was your God that made me an atheist. I have been teetotal for fifteen years, so I would turn to drink."
- Late Night Line-Up
- Vision On
- Ask Aspel
- Patently Obvious
- Object in Question
- Jim'll Fix It
- What's the Idea (writer and presenter)
- Game for a Laugh
- The 6 O'Clock Show
- Home James (James Mason documentary)
- Mad Science
- The Word
- See It Saw It
- 3-2-1 (game designer)
- Mooncat - presenter
- Magic Music Man (art director)
- Fun Factory
- Rolf on Saturday, OK!
- Fantastic Facts (with Jonathan Ross)
- Huddersfield Novelty Suicide Company - Disco Queen (pantomime)
- Theatre Museum, Covent Garden (one-man-show)
- Mad Things to Make from 'Vision On' (1976)
- Cheap, Cheerful and Sometimes Grotty Gifts to Make (1984)
- My Best Cellar: An Autobiography Up to the Age of Eleven... and Other Stuff (2008), Shaffron Publishing Ltd ISBN 0955615518, ISBN 978-0955615511
- No Animals Were Harmed Making These Christmas Cards (2012)
- Prix Jeunesse
- BAFTA Harlequin Award for Drama/Light Entertainment (for Jigsaw)
- Critic's Award
- Ohio State Award
- "Marsh inventor Wilf Lunn's work on show for first time". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- "Cycle, Bicycle Art - Wilf Lunn autobiography, TV personality, inventor, writer, designer, cartoonist". wilflunn.com. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- www.red-letter.co.uk. "About Wilf Lunn". www.wilflunn.com. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- "Interviews: Wilf Lunn". b3ta.com.
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