Very sad news indeed that veteran actor Peter Sallis (93) has not been able to record a Wallace and Gromit for over 4 years. Peter is suffering from macular degeneration which is an age-related painless eye condition that generally leads to the gradual loss of central vision but can sometimes cause a rapid reduction in vision.
Central vision is used to see what is directly in front of you. In AMD, your central vision becomes increasingly blurred, leading to symptoms such as:
- difficulty reading because the text appears blurry
- colours appearing less vibrant
- difficulty recognising people’s faces
As filmmakers we are very well aware of how important our eyesight is to us and for actors like Peter who have developed and made the character of Wallace and Gromit so iconic not to be able to read his scripts any more is very sad indeed.
“Peter is not too well. It’s a big question for us, whether to keep going. We have got an understudy who has stepped in sometimes, Ben Whitehead, a young actor in London.
He actually started off doing the stuff Peter didn’t want to do, like video games, or if we needed a voice for an exhibition. He was doing some of the voices on The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and stood in for Peter sometimes.
He’s quite convincing. Some people have spotted it and have said he doesn’t really sound like him [Wallace], but he’s getting good.
Whether he will stand in eventually, I’m not sure. There’s nothing planned at the moment.”– NICK PARK
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