Norman Wisdom's early years could easily have come straight from the pages of a Dickens novel. Left by their frightened mother, ill-treated by a brutal father, Norman and his brother were forced to fend for themselves, sleeping rough in London and stealing food to survive. This is a rags to riches tale of the man Charlie Chaplin said would take his mantle and who went on to make millions laugh around the world for over five decades. Here are the hardships, tragedies and triumphs that gave him his inspiration. From the days working the seasons at Scarborough, to the unforgettable and endearing character Norman Pitkin – the little man in a tight fitting suit, read of his rapid climb up the showbiz ladder.