PERFORMERS: ERIC MORECAMBE & ERNIE WISE

morewise(BIOGRAPHY by Peter Tatchell, from LAUGH MAGAZINE #24, 2005)

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were the most successful and best-loved double act in the history of British comedy. In their peak years of the 1970s their television shows achieved huge audiences and attracted the biggest show business names as guest stars. For their last B.B.C. Christmas special nearly half the country watched the two men who had become Royal favourites and national treasures.

Eric (born John Eric Bartholomew in 1926) and Ernie (born Ernest Wiseman six months earlier, in 1925) had come a long way since their humble early years in the north of England. They first met as performers in the stage production Youth Takes A Bow in 1940, with Eric’s mother Sadie eventually taking charge of both youngsters and suggesting they form a double act. It lasted until Eric’s death over forty years later.

Taking inspiration from their movie heroes Laurel and Hardy and the wordplays of the more recently successful Abbott and Costello, the duo was soon featured in the West End production Strike A New Note and were able to witness the nightly routines of the legendary Sid Field and his straight man Jerry Desmonde. Field’s “overnight success” with the show had taken years of hard work to achieve, and Morecambe and Wise would spend an equally long period climbing their way up the show business ladder.

After a short break for war service (Ernie in the Merchant Marine and Eric down the mines) the pair struggled to secure dates with touring shows and in variety theatres but by the early 1950s was popular enough to gain  radio spots on Variety Fanfare and Worker’s Playtime.

By 1953, engagements in pantomimes and summer seasons also included their own radio series on the Nothern Home Service You’re Only Young Once which ran to three seasons and a number of episodes were rebroadcast nationally on the Light Programme. At the same time, the B.B.C. starred Morecambe And Wise in their first television series, Running Wild, but the venture was a huge disappointment and they retreated to radio work.

Commercial television began in Britain soon after and A.T.V. signed them as comedy support to Winifred Atwell in mid-1957, performing scripts by Johnny Speight. The future Till Death Us Do Part writer saw enormous potential in Eric and Ernie, and was probably the first to create material that concentrated on their characters.

A year later they were back on B.B.C. screens making appearances on Double Six, before embarking on a successful six month tour of Australia. Upon their return Eric and Ernie were shocked to note the change the coming of commercial television had caused to to the variety stage with theatres closing across the country as audiences stayed home to watch the electronic box in their living rooms. With their futures uncertain, they hired a new agent, Billy Marsh, whose drive and expertise soon had them booked for dozens of appearances on such shows as Star Time, Saturday Spectacular and Sunday Night At The London Palladium. The most tumultuous decade of their careers had begun and Morecambe And Wise were on the threshold of national stardom.

Initial approaches to Lew Grade for a series at A.T.V. were unsuccessful, while at the same time the B.B.C. appeared keen to sign the pair (and even had six scripts prepared). But in 1961 Grade suddenly changed his mind and agreed to sign them for a prime weekly timeslot. For their part, Eric and Ernie insisted the show engage the writers Sid Green and Dick Hills (who’d been recommended to them by Jimmy Jewell and Ben Warriss).

The first episode of Two Of A Kind (in October 1961) found the stars lost in a procession of sketches surrounded by army of support actors. Fearing a repeat of the Running Wild failure, Morecambe And Wise decided to take a stand but, in a moment of serendipity, Actors Equity suddenly went out on strike. The result was a much less cluttered presentation with Eric and Ernie (who, as members of the Variety Artists’ Federation, were still able to appear) squarely in the spotlight. There was even a touch of irony with writers Sid and Dick forced to appear as bit players in some sketches. As the series progressed, audience figures increased and the two north country comics (after twenty years together) finally had a hit on their hands.

Each half hour edition of Two Of A Kind had a strong variety flavour, including a band number and a vocal spot to separate a couple of lengthy comedy routines, with shorter pieces at the opening and closing. By the second season, the following June, the show was moved to a regular Saturday evening timeslot where it stayed for all but its last A.T.V. season.

Two Of A Kind opened the door for Eric and Ernie to gain international stardom, to a degree. In February 1964 several seasons of the show began appearing on Australian television screens, with the A.B.C. eventually airing all episodes from series 2, 3 and 4.  Later that year an ethusiastic Ed Sullivan was in the audience of their London Palladium season (in support of Bruce Forsyth) and signed them for appearances on his top-rated Sunday night C.B.S. series. Thus began a strenuous period of transatlantic flights which would continue until May 1968 (and a total of some 17 guest spots).

Morecambe And Wise’s television popularity led to their 1964 movie debut in a big screen sendup of the James Bond phenomenon, The Intelligence Men (also known as Spylarks).. Written by Hills and Green (who could also be seen in brief walk-ons), it was an enjoyable if unexceptional outing that made enough money to be followed by That Riviera Touch a couple of years later and The Magnificent Two in 1967.

After five increasingly successful seasons on A.T.V., Lew Grade capitalized on Eric and Ernie’s ongoing exposure to the Americans (via The Ed Sullivan Show) by signing a deal with the U.S. ABC Network to screen their new season of one hour programmes which, as a result, would be made in colour. Rechristened Picadilly Palace there, they were scheduled as the summer replacement for the Hollywood Palace timeslot, and aired several months before the ten shows could finally seen by British viewers (where I.T.V. was still only able to transmit the recordings in black and white).

Though the American venture did not lead to a followup season, Eric and Ernie were keen to continue appearing in colour and when Lew Grade vetoed the idea, they signed with Britain’s only channel then transmitting such programming … BBC2.  It was a momentous decision that would result in some of the finest television Britain had seen, but Eric would first have to survive a serious health crisis.

A fortnight after the season of eight half hour shows was aired in late 1968, Eric suffered a serious heart attack driving home from a live performance near Leeds, and was lucky to reach a hospital in time. His recovery was slow and frustrating and for a time there was doubt whether the act would be able to continue. When doctors finally gave Eric the go ahead to return to work (to a great sigh of relief from Ernie and the B.B.C.) there was a further complication – contractual problems with scriptwriters Green and Hills had resulted in their signing an exclusive contract back at A.T.V. Their unlikely replacement, Eddie Braben, was best known for supplying one-liners in various Ken Dodd shows, but his contribution to the careers of Morecambe And Wise from that point on turned out to be monumental.

Far from merely supplying jokes for the team, Braben reshaped their public personas, replacing the previous comic and straight man roles with humorous character roles for Ernie as well as Eric. The little man with the short, fat, hairy legs was now portrayed as miserly, pompous and childlike whenever the subject of sex. was involved. And he was now a writer of gramatically-incorrect plays …  a plethora of them. The addition of Braben and producer John Ammonds took Morecambe and Wise to the next level.

To lessen Eric’s workload following the heart attack , the B.B.C. scheduled a season of only four 45-minute programmes to air on a fortnightly basis from late July 1969. As before, the format included a traditional variety mix of guest vocalists, a regular offering by Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen, a handful of short blackouts (often involving the antics of a couple of monks) and lengthier pieces set in the living room or bedroom of the flat where they supposedly lived.

The highlight of that first programme was a “play what Ernie wrote” about King Arthur, with movie great Peter Cushing taking the lead role, and launching an ongoing saga in pursuit of payment for the appearance. Subsequent participants in those early Ernest Wise theatrical offerings included Juliet Mills and Edward Woodward. Also seen at the end of each programme was the ample figure of Janet Webb who (for no apparent reason) suddenly burst forth on to centre stage waving and blowing kisses at the audience.

The series was an enormous success and the only downside to the team’s comeback was that year’s festive special, which was almost abandoned with both Eric and Ernie laid low with flu, leaving producers to stitch together a handful of pre-recorded segments and musical items by guest stars. In subsequent years The Morecambe And Wise Christmas Show would become essential viewing for half the nation and a ratings goliath but that first venture was a travesty.

Despite being screened by Britain’s third channel (which could not be received by large numbers of viewers), subsequent BBC1 repeats ensured Morecambe And Wise were not lost to those late-1960s audiences and as the new decade began their popularity increased enormously.

A dozen new episodes were shown throughout 1970 (in two fortnightly seasons) with notable guests including Fenella Fielding, Diane Cilento, Ian Carmichael and Richard Greene. There was also a special half hour edition entered for the prestigious Montreux festival and a Christmas offering. It was a remarkable turnaround. A heart attack and a change of writers had propelled Eric and Ernie to the top of British television.

The golden era of Morecambe And Wise was underway. The fourteen editions produced throughout 1971 included some of their best work. Guests included Flora Robson, Arthur Lowe (and cameo walk ons from the Dad’s Army cast), Francis Matthews, Keith Michel, John Mills and Glenda Jackson as Cleopatra. And that Christmas saw Shirley Bassey in boots and Andre Previn conducting Grieg’s Piano Concerto. It was also the year Janet Webb began thanking everyone for watching her little show and loving us all.

After twelve months out of the spotlight, the 1972 Christmas special brought back some favourite guest stars and featured a throwaway jibe about their friend Des O’Connor during a World War 1 sketch. It was the start of a celebrated fued that would last to the end of their career and include a memorable retaliation by Des on their 1975 Christmas Show. (The team had not produced a traditional festive programme in 1974, feeling they didn’t have enough high quality material so a chat with Michael Parkinson was aired instead).

As the decade progressed Eric and Ernie began exploiting their musical talents more and more. Throughout their A.T.V. years they had performed the memorable Boom-Oo-Yatta-Ta-Ta (with Sid and Dick), a clever dance sendup of Puttin’ On The Ritz and even Grieg’s Piano Concerto (with Ernie as conductor). Their B.B.C. shows always ended with fairly straight renditions of ballads inspired by the Flanagan And Allen songbook like Following You Around, Don’t You Agree?, Just Around The Corner and the song which would become their signature tune, Bring Me Sunshine. By the 1973 season, Ernest Maxin was creating occasional production numbers which sprinkled humorous bits amongst the song and dance routines. Along with the historical sendups, famous guests and the sketches set in living room or bedroom of their flat, these musical offerings would soon become some of their most fondly remembered work.

By the end of 1975, Maxin had replaced Ammonds as the show’s producer and the consequent increased musical content lead to the classic pieces where they prepared breakfast to The Stripper and parodied Singin’ In The Rain. Their Christmas editions of 1975 and 1976 also offered memorable versions of The Liar Song (with Diana Rigg) and Elton John trying in vain to teach Eric how to sing Play A Simple Melody.

Then, the incredibly popular festive edition of 1977 when an estimated 28 million people tuned in to see a chorus line of B.B.C. personalities and Penelope Keith awkwardly climbing down the scaffolding from an unfinished stairway. A daring conclusion to the show featured the unexpected return of Elton John for a vocal after the end credits had rolled.

Though unknown at the time, the careers of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise had peaked with that final B.B.C. show. Weeks later, newspaper headlines announced the pair had signed with Thames Television and were headed back to I.T.V. A major factor in negotiations had been the desire by Eric and Ernie to return to the big screen, with Thames (unlike the B.B.C.) then producing movies as well as TV shows.

But the fates began working against the team. Writer Eddie Braben was not willing to move across with them and the duo’s first two programmes (aired as one hour specials in late 1978) didn’t capture the usual magic. Then, in early 1979, Eric suffered more life threatening heart troubles and was out of action for the whole year, being barely able to take part in a predominantly talk programme with David Frost that Christmas. And their promised return to cinema screens was put on hold.

By the time he had recovered fully (a further six months later) both Eddie Braben and John Ammonds had been signed by Thames for the proposed series of half hour programmes. Disappointingly, these consisted of almost total reworkings of old B.B.C. sketches, with little new material being included.

Eric and Ernie did four seasons for Thames in as many years with original scripting taking second place to the tried and true “old favourites”. At least most of the musical offerings were being done for the first time. Even their prestigious Christmas specials were not immune to the practice, and also fell victim to programming problems from the early 1980s.

With the lucrative commercial franchise for London being split between two companies, December the 25th fell outside the evenings covered by Thames from 1981 to 1983. Unwilling to allow their stars’ annual ratings winner to be telecast on London Weekend’s days of operation, it was no longer scheduled on Christmas Day.

The 1983 Christmas show was notable for including two particularly successful pieces written by their old scriptwriters Sid Green and Dick Hills, amongst the inevitable updating of old Eddie Braben B.B.C. scripts. Sadly, it was the last programme Morecambe And Wise would ever present.

As 1984 commenced, Eric’s health was once again causing concern and he was seriously considering devoting his talents to writing books (he’d already written an handful of novels). He was also unhappy at the lack of originality in their Thames shows and the disappointing quality of a telemovie called Night Train To Murder they had recently recorded.

On May 27th Eric took part (without Ernie) in an evening of reminisces at a theatre in Tewkesbury as a favour to his friend Stan Stennett. The show went well but as he walked off stage, he suddenly collapsed in the wings. Five hours later in hospital, Eric Morecambe died. The double act that the British public had taken to their hearts was no more.

Though Ernie continued performing (a nostalgic one-man tour of Australia, appearances in the West End musical The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and the longrunning farce Run For Your Wife, plus TV panel games and pantomimes) it could never be the same without his beloved partner. He retired after a series of strokes in the mid-1990s and died in 1999 (aged 73).

Thanks to the video taped copies of nearly all of their television work since the 1960s, the magic of Eric Morecambe And Ernie Wise lives on.

RADIO

Youth Must Have Its Swing
Home Service May 4 to June 15 1943

You’re Only Young Once
Series 1: North of England Home Service November 9 1953 to January 14 1954
Series 2: North of England Home Service May 6 to June 24 1954
Series 3: North of England Home Service October 1 to December 17 1954
(five episodes were rebroadcast nationally on the Light Programme From July 20 to August 17 1954)
with Pearl Carr, Kenneth Connor

The Show Goes On
Light Programme Thursdays 7-30pm March 31 to June 9 1955

The Morecambe And Wise Show
North of England Home Service October 19 to November 2 1955

Laughter Incorporated
Light Programme Mondays 8-00pm July 21 to September 22 1958

The Morecambe And Wise Show
Light Programme July 24 to August 28 1966

Morecambe And Wise Sing Flanagan And Allen
R2 Saturday 2-00pm December 25 1971 (40 min)

Eric And Ernie Play Morecambe And Wise
R4 Monday noon April 3 1972 (25 min)

Eric And Ernie’s Hall Of Fame
R4 Thursday 1-45pm December 26 1974 (75 min)
(SECOND HALL OF FAME) R4 Friday 1-30pm December 25 1975 (75 min)

The Eric Morecambe And Ernie Wise Show
Series 1: R2 Sundays 2-00pm January 26 to March 2 1975
Series 2: R2 Sundays 2-00pm September 5 to October 10 1976
Series 3: R2 Sundays 2-00pm December 4 to 25 1977, Saturday 1-00pm March 25 1978, Monday 1-00pm May 1 1978
(a one hour compilation programme was aired on R2 at 10-00pm December 25 1979)

Wise On The Wireless (Ernie only, after Eric’s death)
Series 1: R2 Thursdays 10-00pm July 9 to August 13 1987
Series 2: R2 Thursdays 10-00pm July 28 to September 15 1988
with Janet Brown, Hugh Paddick, Jon Glover

 

TELEVISION

RUNNING WILD (BBC)
Wednesday 9-30pm fortnightly April 21 to June 30 1954 (6 x 30 min)
with Alma Cogan, The Four In A Crowd, Ray Buckingham, Hermione Harvey, Amanda Barrie

THE WINIFRED ATWELL SHOW (ATV)
Saturday 8-15pm April 21 to June 23 1956 (10 x 45 min)
script by Johnny Speight

DOUBLE SIX (BBC)
Sunday 9-30pm August 11 to September 8 1957 (5 x 30 min)
with Ted Lune

TWO OF A KIND / THE MORECAMBE & WISE SHOW (ATV)
with Sid Green, Dick Hills
script by Sid Green and Dick Hills

Series 1: Thursday 8-00pm October 12 to December 7 1961 (9 x 30 min)
1  no guest
(sketch details unknown)
with The Confederates
(sketch details unknown)
3  with Acker Bilk And His Paramount Jazz Band, The Barney Gilbraith Singers
(sketch details unknown)
4  with The McGuire Sisters, Dick Charlesworth And His City Gents
(sketch details unknown)
5  with The Peters Sisters, Kenny Ball’s Jazzmen
(sketch details unknown)
6  with Cleo Laine, The Clyde Valley Stompers
(sketch details unknown)
with Gary Miller, Monty Sunshine’s Jazzband
(sketch details unknown)
8  with Valerie Masters, Micky Ashman’s Ragtime Jazz Band
(sketch details unknown)
9  with The Kaye Sisters, Alex Welsh And His Band
(sketch details unknown)

Series 2: Saturday 9-30pm June 30 to September 22 1962 (13 x 30 min)
1  with The Kaye Sisters, Terry Lightfoot’s Jazzmen
(Pen and Paper Quiz/Alcoholics Anonymous/Boxing Match/Cossack Dancing/Pilbroch Bla Scottish Folk Song)
2  with The Beverley Sisters, Kenny Ball’s Jazzmen
(The Flintrocks/Scientific Lecture and Paper Bags/Soccer Players/Fear Of Flying/Alice In Wonderland)
3  with The Beverley Sisters, Alex Welsh And His Band
(Dr. Ben Kildare/Eric’s Tape Recordings/A Shocking Version Of Grenada/Snooker/Eric’s Impersonations)
4  with The Beverley Sisters, Mr. Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band
(Supercar/Eric’s Dictionary/Chinese Restaurant/Julius Caesar)
5  with Susan Maughan, The Mike Cotton Jazzmen
(Pick Your Luck/Coin and Card Games/Zoo Quest/Eric As A One-Man Black And White Minstrel)
6  with The Beverley Sisters, Chris Barber’s Jazzband, Ottilie Patterson
(Dick of Doxon Green/Magic Moments With Morecambe/Honeysuckle Rose On Piano/Eric’s Pick Of The Ladies)
7  with The Beverley Sisters, The Clyde Valley Stompers
(sketch details unknown)
8  with Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr, Eric Delaney And His Band
(77 Sunset Strip)
9  with Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr, George Chisholm’s Jazz Gang
(Naked City)
10  with Lita Roza, Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band
(Mystery Tale/Pas De Deux/Abraham Lincoln)
11  with Janie Marden, Alex Welsh And His Band
(Y Cars/Pruning Eric’s Plant/East Of West Side Story/Eric’s Party Games/Folk Singers Frederick And Frederick)
12  with Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr, The Mike Cotton Jazzmen
(Eric’s Pipe/New Talent/French Film/Hollywood Song Medley)
13  with Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr
(sketch details unknown)

Series 3: Saturday 8-30pm June 15 to September 7 1963 (13 x 30 min)
1  with Joe Brown, The Michael Sammes Singers, Sheree Winton
(Coming On Together/Xylophone Duet/Washing Machine Demonstration/Samson Morecambe)
with Mr. Acker Bilk And His Paramount Jazz Band, The Michael Sammes Singers
(Stop Smoking/Puppet Theatre/Peter And The Wolf/Samson’s Haircut)
3  with The King Brothers, Barbara Law, Murray Kash
(Ventriloquist/Card Sharp Morecambe/Singing With A Radio Mike)
4  with Sheila Buxton, The Michael Sammes Singers, Gillian Cobbold
(Eric’s Holiday Slides/Inconvenient Phone Call/Hamlet/Dance Of The Six Veils)
5  with The King Brothers, Janie Marden, Norman Mitchell
(The Fat Lady in the Audience/The Battle Of Wellington/Come Dancing/The Flying Doctor)
6  with The King Brothers, Susan Maughan
(Ernie’s Glasses/Louis XIV Glasses/Puttin’ On The Ritz/General Custer)
7  with The King Brothers, Sheila Southern
(Eric’s Matchstick Tower/Eric’s Roulette System/Grieg Piano Concerto/Alice And The Cheshire Cat)
8  with Roy Castle
(sketch details unknown)
9  with Shani Wallas, The Michael Sammes Singers, Jill Curzon
(sketch details unknown)
10  with The King Brothers, Maureen Evans
(sketch details unknown)
11  with The King Brothers, Kathy Kirby
(Remembering Names and Faces in Show Business)
12  with Eric Delaney’s Band, The Michael Sammes Singers, Lucille Gaye
(sketch details unknown)
13  with The King Brothers, Rosemary Squires, Gillian Cobbold
(Eric’s Sales Resistance)

Series 4: Saturday 8-25pm April 4 to June 27 1964 (13 x 35 min)
1  with Eddie Calvert And The ‘C’ Men, The Raindrops
(sketch details unknown)
2  with Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen, Janie Marden
(How to Deal with Pickpockets)
3  with The Beatles
(sketch details unknown)
4  with Chris Rayburn, The Viscounts, Janet Webb
(Eric’s Yo-Yo)
5  with Mr. Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band, Jackie Trent, Penny Morrell
(Eric Needs a Wig)
6  with Patsy Ann Noble, The Fraser Hayes Four
(Eric’s Invention)
7  with Edmund Hockridge, Sheila Buxton
(sketch details unknown)
8  with Kathy Kirby, The King Brothers, Freddie Powell
(Eric has a Cold)
9  with Joe Brown And The Bruvvers, Joy Marshall
(sketch details unknown)
10  with Dickie Valentine, The Four Macs, Jo Williamson
(sketch details unknown)
11  with The Bachelors, Valerie Masters
(sketch details unknown)
12  with Ray Ellington And His Music, Barbara Law
(sketch details unknown)
13  with Susan Maughan, Migil 5
(sketch details unknown)

Series 5: Saturday 9-20pm January 22 to March 19 1966 (9 x 35 min)
1  with Lulu, Paul and Barry Ryan
(sketch details unknown)
2  with The Morgan James Duo
(sketch details unknown)
3  with Jackie Trent, The New Faces
(sketch details unknown)
4  with Millicent Martin
(sketch details unknown)
5  with Georgie Fame, Julie Rogers
(sketch details unknown)
6  with The Settlers, Barbara Law
(sketch details unknown)
7  with The King Brothers
(sketch details unknown)
8  with The Shadows, Janie Marden
(sketch details unknown)
9  with Herman’s Hermits, Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr
(Home From The Wars/School Days/The Four Clark Sisters/The Wife Home From The Wars)

Series 6: Sunday 8-25pm October 1 1967 to March 31 1968 (10 x 60 min)
(* screened by the A.B.C. Network in the United States between May 20 and September 9 1967 as “Picadilly Palace“)
all with Millicent Martin
Oct 1  with Freddie And The Dreamers, Jimmy Rodgers
(sketch details unknown)
Oct 22  with The Small Faces, Bobby Rydell
(sketch details unknown)
Nov 12  with The Hollies, Tom Jones
(sketch details unknown)
Dec 10  with Manfred Mann, George Maharis
(sketch details unknown)
Dec 31  with The New Vaudeville Band, Frankie Avalon
(sketch details unknown)
Jan 14  with The Moody Blues, Tommy Leonetti
(sketch details unknown)
Feb 4  with The Tremeloes, Peter Nero
(sketch details unknown)
Feb 25  with Eric Burdon And The Animals, Gene Pitney
(sketch details unknown)
Mar 17  with Georgie Fame, Bobby Vinton
(sketch details unknown)
Mar 31  with The Dave Clark Five, Cliff Richard
(sketch details unknown)

THE MORECAMBE AND WISE SHOW (BBC)
with Sid Green and Dick Hills (series 1), Janet Webb (series 2 – 6), Arthur Tolcher (series 8), The Pattersons (series 3), Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen (series 2 – 6), Wilma Reading (series 8)
script by Sid Green and Dick Hills (series 1), Eddie Braben (series 2 – 9)

Series 1: BBC2 Monday 8-50pm September 2 to October 21 1968 (8 x 30 min)
1  with Georgia Brown, Los Zafiros
(Topical Jokes Will Be Out Of Date/Old Mexican Love Song/Conning Eric With Gibberish)
2  with Acker Bilk, Roy Budd
(Miming To Bing And Satchmo/”Bodgers And Hammerhead Musical”/Introducing Booboo The Stripper)
3  with Trio Athinee, The Paper Dolls
(How To Get To The Party At Harpenden/Boxing Match/Nudist Camp)
4  with Bruce Forsyth, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen
(Bruce Forsyth And The Commissionaires/A Backing Group For Bruce)
5  with Ronnie Carroll, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen
(Eric’s Instant Camera/Irish Sketch/Dear Old Donegal)
6  with Edmund Hockridge, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen
(Teaching Eric Golf/”The Desert Song”)
7  with Michael Aspel, Chris Langford, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen
(Sailing Round The World For A Knighthood/Conning Eric Out Of His Pools Win/”Hollywood Musical”)
8  with Matt Munro, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen
(Wrong Trousers/”The Road To Gateshead”)
ALL THAT SURVIVES OF THIS SERIES ARE SHOW 6 (minus the opening sketch) AND EDITED OFF-AIR SOUNDTRACKS OF THE OTHERS

Series 2: BBC2 fortnightly July 27 to September 4 1969 (4 x 45 min)
1  with Peter Cushing, Bobby Gentry, Vince Hill
(The Robin Catbush And Phyllis Ludicrous Show/A Lady Doctor Visits The Flat/Turtles Desiree And Eric/”King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table”)
2  with Trio Athinee, Malcolm Roberts
(Ernie’s Unseen Facet – Poetry/In Bed With Crisps, A Book And Some Pills/Birdwatchers/25th Anniversary Of D-Day In The Flat)
3  with Juliet Mills, Moira Anderson
(Palm Reading All Over/Ernie’s Au Pair/Rosie Morecambe And Fanny Wise/”The Tea Planter’s Wife”)
4  with Edward Woodward, Kenneth McKellar
(Eric’s Lucky Talisman/A Neighbour Borrows Some Sugar/Peter Cushing Wants His Money/Danny La Rue Unfrocked/”Murder At The Grange”)

*** BBC2 Sunday 8-15pm December 25 1969 (60 min)
with Susan Hampshire, Frankie Vaughan, Nina, The Pattersons

Series 3: BBC2 fortnightly January 14 to February 11, March 11 and 25, April 22 1970 (6 x 45 min)
1  with Herman’s Hermits
(Ern, The Baggy Pants Comic/Bedroom Discussion On Growing Old/Samson The Great/The Vicar Visits The Flat)
2  with Ian Carmichael, Nina
(An Award For Ernie/Ernie Walks Out For Twenty Years/”Frankenstein’s Monster”)
3  with Fenella Fielding, Sacha Distell
(With-It, Way-Out Ernie/Bathtime For Ernie/A Visit To Fenella’s Flat/”Trafalgar 1805″)
4  with Diane Cilento, Vince Hill
(Eric’s Wig/Restaurant Rendezvous With Diane/”The Barretts Of Wimpole Street”)
5  with Edward Chapman, Clodagh Rogers
(Permissive Television/”Trouble At Mill”/Courting Princess Anne)
6  with Richard Greene, Nana Mouskouri
(Boy Scout Ernie/Late Night Visit By Richard Greene/Eric’s Pocket Transistor Radio Kit/”The Lost Valley”)

*** MONTREUX EDITION: April  8 1970 (30 min) with Nina
(Exchanging Trousers/Multilingual Introduction To Nina/Banana Boat With Maraccas/Powerful Binoculars/Eric’s Enormous Ventriloquist Doll)

Series 4: BBC2 fortnightly July 1 to August 12, August 25, October 8 1970 (6 x 50 min)
1  with Eric Porter, Jan Daley, Trio Athinee
(This Is Your Life/Eric Porter’s Dressing Room/Jovial Doctor/Uncle Eric And His Little Friend/”Wuthering Heights”)
2  with George A Cooper, Kenneth McKellar, Samantha Jones
(Fox Hunting/Eric’s Homecoming/Prams In The Park/Frankie Vaughan’s Son David/A Pregnant Lady Visits The Flat)
3  with Nina, Craig Douglas
(Eric’s Health Food/Buying Lingerie/Nina’s Fruit Cake/Bringing Ernie’s Characters To Life)
4  with Fenella Fielding, Ray Stevens, Sylvia McNeill
(Ern’s Nasty Ballet Accident/Fenella Comes To Tea/Eric’s Long Player/”I’ll See You Again”)
5  with Barbara Murray, Dusty Spingfield, Michael Redgrave, Flora Robson, Felix Aylmer, Robin Day
(A Stool For The Star/Splitting Up/Political Discussion/Drama Critic’s Colourful Past/”There’s No Business Like Big Business”)
6  with Paul Anka, Patricia Lambert
(Eric’s Moustache Seeds/Visiting Ernie In Hospital/Ear Specialist/Scenery Collapses On Eric/Honeymoon Couple Next Door)

*** BBC2 December 25 1970
with Peter Cushing, William Franklyn, Nina, Eric Porter, Edward Woodward
(The Gift Of A Musical Watch/Sawing Peter Cushing In Half/Ann Invited To Christmas Dinner/Eric Porter’s Song And Dance/Scenery Problems For Nina/That’s Not John Wayne/Edward Woodward Wants To Sing/”The Three Musketeers”)

Series 5: BBC2 fortnightly April 8 to June 17, July 15 1971 (7 x 45 min)
1  with Flora Robson, Esther Ofarim, Peter & Alex
(Piano Duet of “60 Seconds”/Impressing Dame Flora/”Queen Elizabeth The First”)
2  with Arthur Lowe (and the cast of Dad’s Army), Robert Young, Susan Maughan
(Arthur Meets The Star Of The Show/Marriage Guidance/Explaining The Facts Of Life/Park Chat With Unhappy Father/”Monty On The Bonty”)
with Frank Ifield, The Settlers
(Eric Replaced By A Younger Man/The Connoisseurs: Objects D’Art/Buying A Diamond Ring/A Visit By A Fellow Writer)
4  with Jack Jones, Sheila Southern
(Ern’s Magnificent Body/Record Shop Robbery/Dracula Books A Room/Introducing Arthur Tolcher/Making Ern Invisible/A Nasty Thing, Flu)
with Glenda Jackson, Mary Hopkin, Ronnie Hilton
(Ernie Announces His Retirement/Glenda Jackson Visits The Flat/”Antony And Cleopatra”)
6  with Ian Carmichael, Matt Munro, Kiki Dee, Peter & Alex
(Ern’s 23 A-Levels/Wig Boutique/Eric The Peg, With The Extra Leg/Most Popular Guest Star Award/”Mystery In Mayfair”)
7  with Trio Athinee, Design
(Newspaper Critics/Multilingual Hotel Receptionist/Fishing With A Saxophone/Man With The Reversals/Bob Hope’s Chief Scriptwriter)

Series 6: BBC1 September 19 to October 31 1971 (not Oct 24) (6 x 45 min)
1  with Francis Matthews, Anita Harris, Robert Young
(Tape Recording Ernie’s Voice/The Language Of Birds/Francis Impersonates Cary/”The House Of Terror”)
2  with Keith Michel, Design
(Eric’s Premonition/Bobo The Glove Puppet/The Call To Mrs. Nutter/Keith Wants Eric For Ernie’s Play//”The Legion Of The Lost”)
3  with Cilla Black, Ronnie Carroll, Percy Thrower
(Eric’s Jasper Rawlings Painting/A Recording Contract For Ernie/Ten Years Hence/Gardener’s Wild)
4  with John Mills, Mrs. Mills, Trio Athinee
(Eric’s Threatening Letter/Top Of The Form/A Fruitcake From Mrs. Mills/Eric’s Autographed Banana/”Escape From Stalag 54″)
5  with Nina, The Pattersons
(Great Men Of Our Time – Ernie Wise/Car Accessory Shop/Leg Rejuvenating Machine/An Award For Nina/Ernie Spots The Ball Every Sunday)
6  with Tom Jones, Design
(Eric’s Dog Brutus/Backing Singers For Tom Jones/ )

*** BBC1 December 25 1971 (65 min)
with Shirley Bassey, Glenda Jackson, Andre Previn, Francis Matthews, Dick Emery, Frank Bough, Robert Dougall, Cliff Mitchellmore, Patrick Moore, Michael Parkinson, Eddie Waring
(Tankards From The B.B.C./Christmas Turkeys/A Special Set For Shirley Bassey/Grieg’s Piano Concerto With Andre Preview/An Award For The Antony And Cleopatra Sketch/A Tribute To Fred And Ginger/”Robin Hood”)

*** BBC1 December 25 1972 (60 min)
with Glenda Jackson, Jack Jones, Vera Lynn, Pete Murray, Shirley Bassey, Ian Carmichael, Fenella Fielding, Eric Porter, Andre Previn, Flora Robson
(Eric’s Practical Jokes/Santa’s Reindeers/The Impersonations Of Jack Jones/Jack’s Backing Duo/Dawn Patrol/Down Memory Lane With Vera Lynn/”Victoria And Albert”)

Series 7: BBC1 January 5 to March 23 1973 (12 x 45 min)
1  with Cliff Richard, Vicki Carr
(Tips On How To Play An Old Man/Yoga In Bed/Tennis Game/Dance Rehearsal In The Flat/musical: The Fleet’s In)
2  with Robert Morley, Vicki Leandros, New World
(A Recital Of Poetry And Fine Music/Convincing Robert Morley To Be In Ernie’s Play/”The Curse Of Tukankhamun”)
3  with Lulu, Henry Cooper, Percy Edwards, Rostal & Schaefer
(Eric’s Injured Bird/Buying A Violin/Harpenden String Quartet/The Bully On The Bench/The Call To The Battle Of Trafalgar/Ernie’s Romantic Duet With Lulu/Backyard Birdcalls With Percy Edwards)
4  with Susan Hampshire, Henry Cooper, Georgie Fame & Alan Price, The Settlers
(Eric’s Engagement/Eurovision Mucky Poem/After The Pictures/Eric Tangled In A Rope/”The Mighty Kong”)
5  with Frank Finlay, Wilma Reading, Design
(Eric’s Antique Television/Buying A Stereo/Introducing The World’s Greatest Lover/”Lust Over London”)
6  with Helen Reddy, Alex Welsh & His Band
(Ernie’s Bi-Centenary/Synchronized Comedians/Ancient Railways Bye-Law/The Connoisseurs: Chips/Health Food Shop)
7  with Anita Harris
(Mr. Memory/”Pretty Baby” Song And Dance Number/Ernie’s Greeting Card Poetry/”The Northwest Frontier Of India 1890″)
* an Omnibus documentary about the production of this episode was aired two days later
8   with Wilma Reading, Springfield Revival
(Eric’s Mucky Movie Club/Historical Tree/Hollywood Party Impersonations/Byron Meets Keats/Bedtime Memories Of School/Investing Ernie’s Legacy)
9   with Hannah Gordon, Mary Travers, Christopher Neil
(Happy Birthday, Ern/Hannah Auditions In The Supermarket/Reading Eric’s Play/”The Moon And 2½p”)
10  with Roy Castle, Pete Murray, Anne Murray, The Pattersons
(Eric Impresses The Make-Up Lady With A Wig/Roy Castle To Replace Eric/Musical Memories/Side By Side Up And Down/The Repentant Poacher/”Call Of The Yukon”/Everything’s Comin’ My Way)
11  with Nana Mouskouri, The Black & White Minstrels, George Hamilton IV, Harry Corbett & Sooty
(Eric The Nomad/The Sooty Show/The World’s Greatest Racing Driver/Birth Certificates/Greek National Dance/Disturbing Ernie’s Reading/”Mame” With The Minstrels)
12  with Peter Cushing, Bernie Winters, Wilma Reading, Alan Price & Georgie Fame
(Getting Ernie’s Autograph/Ernest Wise Reads Dickens/Eric’s Mind Reading Act/Peter Cushing Still Wants His Money/”A Couple Of Swells” Musical Number/Ernie’s Lodger)

*** BBC1 December 25 1973 (60 min)
with Vanessa Redgrave, Hannah Gordon, John Hanson, The New Seekers, Yehudi Menuhin, Rudolph Nureyev, Laurence Olivier, Andre Previn
(Lord Ern Of Peterborough/Musical Comedy Ern/”Stout-Hearted Men” Chorus/Hannah Gordon Pop Star/Wonky “Windmills Of Your Mind”/Christmas Memories/Vanessa Meets Herbie Wise/Latin American Extravaganza/Napoleon And Josephine)

Series 8: BBC1 September 27 to November 1 1974 (6 x 45 min)
1  with Andre Previn, Magnus Magnusson, Mrs. Mills
(Shakespeare’s Hamlet/Mastermind/Business Gents Two-Step/Childhood Memories Of Church And Cubs/Predictable Eric/Conning Andre Previn/”What A Perfect Combination”/Arrival Of A Queen)
2  with Ludovic Kennedy
(Ernie’s Pain In The Leg/The Art Of Conversation/Eric Has No Jokes/Holiday Plans/The Colonel On The Train/Death Cottage/”Give My Regards To Broadway”)
3  with Wilma Reading, The Sid Lawrence Orchestra
(Spick Sparkle, Pop Singer/Eric’s Cigarette Cards/Business Gents Dance To The Big Band/Eric’s New Nose/Contortionist Accident/Ernie’s New Secretary)
4  with Richard Baker, Wilma Reading
(Eric Has Lost His Voice/The Connoisseurs – Wine Tasting/Introduction For Wilma/”Authors Of Our Time” Interviews Ernie/”Murder In Mayfair”)
5  with Hughie Green, David Dimbleby
(Writing The Opening In Bed/A Booby-Trapped Chair For Eric/The Dimbleby Talk-In/Eric And Ernie Jr./Opportunity Knocks For Ernie)
6  with June Whitfield
(The Bard Of Harpenden/The Echo In The Well/Ernie’s Lost Love/”The Plantation Of Passion”)

*** a Michael Parkinson interview with Eric and Ernie aired in lieu of a 1974 Christmas Special

*** BBC1 December 25 1975 (60 min)
with Diana Rigg, Des O’Connor, Gordon Jackson, Robin Day
(Des O’Connor Retaliates/A Gift For Annie’s Baby/Des’s Hitchcock Subterfuge/Lady Psychiatrist/Friendly Discussion With Robin Day/Nell Gwynn)

Series 9: BBC1 January 7 and 21, Fenruary 11, March 10 and 24, April 19 1976 (6 x 45 min)
1  with Gilbert O’Sullivan, Dilys Watling
(Hands Off Little Ern/Male Nannies On The Park Bench/Dancing Drunks/”The Legend Of Dick Turpin”)
2  with Michele Dotrice, Frankie Vaughn, Patrick Moore
(Ern’s Wife Has Left Him/The Sky At Night/The Harpenden Hot Shots Play For Frankie/”The Handyman And M’Lady”)
3  with Lena Zavaroni, The Spinners
(A Statue Of Ernie/The Connoisseurs: The Sausage/Nothing Personal, But You Irritate Me/”There’s Something About You Baby I Like” Dance Number/Ernie’s Reputation For Being Mean)
4  with Jackie Darnell, Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
(Ernie’s Scottish Song And Dance/Sun Tan Tablets/Tapdancers Hidden From View/Ernie’s Backyard Gym/”The Lives Of The Bengal Lancers”)
5  with The Karlins, Vincent Zarra
(Eric Quits After 36 Years/Antique Shop/Absent-Minded Introduction/Slaughter On Western Avenue/A Surprise Appearance By Frank Sinatra/Afternoon Backyard Sunbake)
6  with Diane Soloman, Maggie Fitzgibbon
(Ernie Granted Freedom Of The City/Calculator Shop/Making Breakfast To The Stripper/Women’s Magazine Wants To Interview Ernie)

*** BBC1 December 25 1976 (60 min)
with Elton John, John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Kate O’Mara, Marion Montgomery, The Nolans
(A Watch For Ernie/Pinball Soccer Players/Elton Accompanies “Play A Simple Melody”/”Singin’ In The Rain”/Elton Wants To Replace Eric/Mata Hari/A Newsreader Dances)

*** BBC1 December 25 1977 (65 min)
with Penelope Keith, Elton John, Francis Matthews, Angharad Rees, Stella Starr, BBC news personalities
(Names In Lights/Eric’s Puppy/Introducing Hand-Grenade Rees/Cornshire Romance/Moving House/”There Is Nothing Like A Dame”/Francis In A Spin/Penelope Meets Derek Moron/”Cyrano De Bergerac”/The Interrupted Stairway/Elton And The Cleaning Ladies)

THE MORECAMBE AND WISE SHOW (Thames)
*** ITV October 18 1978 (60 min)
with Donald Sinden, Judi Dench, Leonard Sachs, Peter Cushing, Derek Griffiths, Syd Lawrence Orchestra
(Hijacking The Syd Lawrence Orchestra/Butler Of The Year/Pet Shop/Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde)

*** ITV December 25 1978 (60 min)
with Leonard Rossiter, Frank Finlay, Sir Harold Wilson
(This Is Your Royal Life/Half-Dressed Eric/The Fabulous Forties/Sir Harold Visits The Flat)

*** ITV December 25 1979 (60 min)
with David Frost, Glenda Jackson, Des O’Connor
(I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat)

Series 1: ITV September 3 to October 8 1980 (6 x 30 min)
1  with Terry Wogan
(Eric The Nomad/Songs Of The Highland/Special Branch Nun/Plugging Ernie’s Pop Record/”Painting The Clouds With Sunshine” song and dance)
2  with Hannah Gordon, Hugh Paddick, Frank Coda
(Evil Eric, The Stuntman/Making Hannah A Pop Singer/Banana Boat Song/A Fellow Writer Visits)
3  with Dave Prowse, Anthony Chinn, Raymond Mason, Fiesta Mei Ling
(Rent A Giant/Chinese Restaurant/Focus On The Arts/Disturbing Ernie’s Reading)
4  with Deryck Guyler, Gerald Case
(This Is Your Life/Multilingual Hotel Reception Clerk/Sammy The Glove Puppet/Ozzie Springer, Washboard Vicar)
5  with Suzanne Danielle, Valerie Minifie
(Eric’s Jasper Rawling Painting/Travel Agency/Ernie’s Gold-Digger)
6  with Gemma Craven
(Mr. Fantastic/Legionaires/Ernie’s Au Pair/Bring Me Sunshine Hollywood Ballet)

*** ITV December 25 1980 (60 min)
with Peter Barkworth, Glenda Jackson, Jill Gascoigne, Hannah Gordon, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness
(A Gigantic Wallet For Ernie/The Bully On The Park Bench/Jill Gascoigne Invited To Christmas Dinner/Dancing Police/Eric The Peg/The Ventriloquist With Laryngitis/Borrowing £20 From Peter Cushing/The Double Act At The Psychiatrist/We Only Work With Sirs/Hamlet/Sir Alec Wants To Sing And Dance)

Series 2: ITV September 1 to October 13 1981 (7 x 30 min)
1  with Gemma Craven
(Eric’s Army Reunion/Art Gallery/Marriage Guidance Office/Are We Past It?/Eric’s Plaster Cast/Springtime In The Park song and dance)
2  with Richard Vernon, Max Bygraves
(Eric’s Novelty Bicycle/The Connoisseurs: British Rail Catering/Splitting Up/Max Sings With Ernie)
3  with Diane Keen
(Mad Morecambe, The Wrestler/Pet Shop/Ernie’s Female Doctor/Travel song and dance)
4  with Hannah Gordon, George Chisholm, Richard Vernon
(Eric’s Miracle Hair Restorer/The Connoisseurs: Objects D’Art/Bathtime For Ernie/”Chicago Style” song and dance)
5  with Peter Bowles, Suzanne Danielle
(Videoing Ernie/Disappearing Patient/Beekeeper/Ernie’s Book On Health/”All That Jazz” song and dance)
6  with Robert Hardy, Ian Ogilvy, Kay Korda
(Eric The Gypsy/Boots In The Hall/Legionnaires Seeing Mirages/Acting Advice For Ernie)
7  with Joanna Lumley, Richard Vernon
(Theatrical Pickpocket/The Connoisseurs: Motorway Food/The Barratts Of Wimpole Street/”Thoroughly Modern Millie” song and dance/The Coldstream Guards Play The Finale)

*** ITV December 23 1981 (60 min)
with Ralph Richardson, Robert Hardy, Ian Ogilvy, Susannah York, Alvin Stardust, Suzanne Danielle
(A Statue Of Lord Mayor Ernie/Impressing Sir Ralph With A Butler/”Razzle Dazzle” song and dance/Health Food Shop/Alvin’s Backing Singers/Eric’s Film And TV Book/Julius Caesar)

Series 3: Thames October 27 to December 8 1982 (7 x 30 min)
1  with Richard Briers, Diana Dors
(Ernie’s Moustache/Claiming Benefits For Sixteen Children/”Varsity Drag” song and dance/Captain Blood)
2  with Trevor Eve, Wayne Sleep, Jimmy Young
(Save Little Ern/Tribute To Hollywood ballet/Beau Jest)
3  with Roy Castle
(Eric’s Food Trolley/Patient Who Isn’t Himself/”At The Copacabana” song and dance/The Guinness Book Of Records Wants To List Ernie)
4  with Colin Welland, Isla St. Clair
(This Is Your Life/Country And Western extravaganza/An Oscar Winning Writer Visits The Flat)
5  with Patricia Brake, Royce Mills
(Eric’s Enormous Guard Dog/Buying Ernie A New Desk/Ten Years Hence/”Me And My Shadow”)
6  with Alan Dobie, Marian Montgomery
(The Great Nosmo, Escapologist/The Informative Neighbour/”Do I Feel High?” song and dance/Burgled And Conned)
7  with Nigel Hawthorne, Patricia Brake
(Happy Birthday, Ern/Lost Legionnaires/Reprived From Madame Guillotine/The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes)

*** ITV December 27 1982
with Robert Hardy, Rule Lenska, Richard Vernon, Wall Street Crash
(Retiring The Act/”Alexander’s Ragtime Band” song and dance/Video Shop/The Explorers: The Amazon Trek/Lingerie Shop/Popular Actor Award/Business Gents dance/”Chatanooga-Choo-Choo” song and dance/The Yukon Gold Rush)

Series 4: Thames September 7 to October 19 1983 (not Sep 21) (6 x 30min)
1  with Margaret Courtenay, Anna Dawson
(Thinking Up A Good Ending/Ghandi Morecambe/Honeymoon Hotel/”The Waiter And The Porter And The Upstairs Maid” song and dance/Antique Renovations/No Time For Jolson Number)
2  with David Kernan
(Repairing The Electric Blanket/Sacked By Mail/Swiss Slapping Dance/Tyrolean Extravaganza/Repairs Around The Flat/No Time For The Hunchback)
3  with Stutz Bear Cats
(Warming Up The Bed/The Great Basket Escape/The Language Of Birds/Chinese Musical Extravaganza/Eric’s Coin Tricks/The Nudists Next Door/No Time For Robin Hood)
4  with Cherry Gillespie
(Bedroom Telescope/Eric And Ernie’s Scrapbook/The Star Guest Chickens Out/Spanish Gypsy Dance/Old Men’s Memories/Ernie’s Brush With The Law/No Time For Long John Silver)
5  with Margaret Courtenay, Stutz Bear Cats, Peter & Jackie Firmani
(Peter Pan Morecambe/Hand Bell Player/Record Shop/”Frankie And Johnny” song and dance/Mr. Bartholomew, The Pigeon Man/No Time For Peter Pan)
6  with Harry Fowler
(Fixing The Bed Leg/One Man Band/Male Nannies In The Park/Impressario Wants Ernie/Department Store song and dance/No Time For Elvis)

*** ITV December 26 1983 (60 min)
with Gemma Craven, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Jacobi, Fulton Mackay, Nanette Newman, Peter Skellern, Patrick Mower, Felicity Kendal, Burt Kwouk
(A Watch And A Donkey For Christmas/The Backing Pianist/The Invention Of The Light Bulb/Who Gets The Pie?/Harpenden Hot Shots/Nelly From The Deli In The Movies/”The Planter’s Wife”/”Swingin’ Down The Lane”)

specials and documentaries
*** THE BEST OF MORECAMBE AND WISE (highlights): BBC2 February 22 1969 (30 min)

*** OMNIBUS – FOOLS RUSH IN: BBC1 February 18 1973 (50 min)

*** MORECAMBE AND WISE – THIS IS YOUR LUNCH: BBC1 May 14 1974

*** PARKINSON TAKES A LOOK AT MORECAMBE AND WISE: BBC December 25 1974 (55 min)

*** TWO OF A KIND: Thames February 3 1982 (60 min)

*** ERIC AND ERNIE’S VARIETY DAYS: Thames March 2 1983 (60 min)

*** ERIC MORECAMBE TRIBUTE: Thames May 28 1984 (60 min)

*** BRING ME SUNSHINE: Thames December 25 1984 (2½ hours)

*** NIGHT TRAIN TO MURDER (telemovie): Thames January 3 1985 (90 min)

*** MORECAMBE AND WISE ON STAGE: Thames February 17 1987 (60 min)

*** 40 MINUTES: The Importance of Being Ernie: BBC2 April 27 1993 (40 min)

*** BRING ME SUNSHINE – THE HEART AND SOUL OF ERIC MORECAMBE: BBC1 December 23 1998

*** THE SUNSHINE BOYS – MORECAMBE & WISE: BBC1 September 3 1999

*** THE UNFORGETTABLE ERIC MORECAMBE: ITV November 2 2001 (60 min)

*** THE UNFORGETTABLE … ERNIE WISE: ITV December 26 2011 (60 min)

*** BRING ME MORECAMBE AND WISE: GOLD November 21 to December 19 2012 (5 x 45 min)
narrated by Victoria Wood

*** MORECAMBE & WISE – SONG AND DANCE: BBC2 December 24 2012 (60 min)
hosted by Penelope Keith

 

FILMS

The Intelligence Men (released April 19 1965) 104 minutes
with William Franklyn, Richard Vernon, Terence Alexander, Frances Matthews, Warren Mitchell

That Riviera Touch (released April 11 1966) 98 minutes
with Suzanne Lloyd, Paul Stassino, Armand Mestral, Peter Jeffrey

The Magnificent Two (released August 6 1967) 100 minutes
with,Margit Saad, Cecil Parker, Virgilio Texera, Martin Benson

Simon, Simon (1970 silent short) 30 minutes
with Peter Sellers, Michael Caine, David Hemmings, Bob Monkhouse, Graham Stark, Bernie Winters

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

humorous collections by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise
THE MORECAMBE AND WISE JOKE BOOK (Wolfe Publishing, 1968)
THE MORECAMBE & WISE SPECIAL (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1977)
BRING ME SUNSHINE (William Kimber, 1978)
THE MORECAMBE AND WISE FAMILY FUN BOOK (Premiums In Print. ?)
THE MORECAMBE AND WISE JOKE BOOK (Arthur Baker. 1979)

novels by Eric Morecambe
MR. LONELY (Methuen, 1981)
OVER THE MOON – SICK AS A PARROT (Hutchinson / Stanley Paul, 1982)
THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE (Methuen, 1983)
THE VAMPIRE’S REVENGE (Methuen, 1983)
STELLA (Severn House, 1986)

biographies and autobiographies
ERIC & ERNIE – THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MORECAMBE & WISE
by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, with Dennis Holman (W.H. Allen, 1973)
THERE’S NO ANSWER TO THAT – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY MORECAMBE & WISE
by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, with Michael Freedland (Arthur Barker, 1981)
FUNNY MAN – ERIC MORECAMBE
by Gary Morecambe (Methuen, 1982)
MORECAMBE & WIFE
by Joan Morecambe, and Michael Leitch (Pelham Books, 1985)
THE ILLUSTRATED MORECAMBE
by Gary Morecambe (Macdonald / Queen Anne Press, 1987)
STILL ON MY WAY TO HOLLYWOOD
by Ernie Wise, with Trevor Barnes (Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1990)
ERIC MORECAMBE: BEHIND THE SUNSHINE
by Gary Morecambe and Martin Sterling (Robson, 1994)
MORECAMBE & WISE – YOU CAN’T SEE THE JOIN
by Jeremy Novick (Chameleon / Andre Deutsch, 1997)
MORECAMBE & WISE
by Graham McCann (Fourth Estate, 1998)
MEMORIES OF ERIC
by Gary Morecambe and Martin  Sterling (Andre Deutsch, 1999)
ERIC MORECAMBE – LIFE’S NOT HOLLYWOOD, IT’S CRICKLEWOOD
by Gary Morecambe (BBC Books, 2003)
THE BOOK WHAT I WROTE – ERIC, ERNIE AND ME
by Eddie Braben (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004)
MORECAMBE AND WISE – UNSEEN
by William Cook (Harper Collins, London. 2005)
MORECAMBE AND WISE – UNTOLD
by William Cook (Harper Collins, London. 2007)
YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE – THE LIFE AND WORK OF ERIC MORECAMBE
by Gary Morecambe (Harper Collins, London. 2009)
LITTLE ERN – THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF ERNIE WISE
by Robert Sellers and James Hogg (Sidgwick & Jackson, London. 2011)
*** Gary Morecambe also co-authored HARD ACT TO FOLLOW (Blake, London. 1997)
which contains two chapters about his father

THE BEST OF MORECAMBE AND WISE
by Eddie Braben (Woburn Press, 1974; amended edition: Virgin, 1999)
MORECAMBE AND WISE – THEIR BEST JOKES, ONE-LINERS AND SKETCHES
by Eddie Braben (Ebury / Random House paperback, 2003)

THE MORECAMBE AND WISE COMIC BOOK!
by Denis Gifford (Corgi Carousel paperback, 1977)
ERIC AND ERNIE’S TV FUN BOOK
by Denis Gifford (Arrow / ITV paperback, 1978)

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Me And My Shadow / We’re The Guys (Who Drive Your Baby Wild)
H.M.V. 45rpm POP 957

Boom Oo Yatta-Ta-Ta / Why Did I Let You Go?
H.M.V. 45rpm POP 1240

A-Wassailing / The Happiest Christmas Of All
H.M.V. 45rpm POP 1373

Now That You’re Here / That Riviera Touch
H.M.V. 45rpm POP 1518

Mr. Morecambe Meets Mr. Wise
H.M.V. LP CLP 1682/CSD 1522 (reissued as Music For Pleasure LP MFP 1190)
Not Now Later
Indians
Singing The Blues
Ton Up Boy
Why Did I Let You Go?
Impressions
Grieg Piano Concerto
Boom Oo Yatta-Ta-Ta
Tape Recorder
The Pilbroch Bla
Get It Right Corporal
Song Of Youth
Ambassador Of Khasiland

An Evening With Ernie Wise At Eric Morecambe’s Place
Philips LP BL 7750 (reissued as Wing LP WL 1217)
Avis Morecambis
The Bare Facts
The Stand
The Man With A Tail
The Great Wall Of Harpenden
One Of The Old Favourites Of The Future
Shopping For The Wife
One More Time
Gather Round The Piano (Camptown Races + Poor Old Joe + Swanee River)

Twelve Days Of Christmas / Bingle Jells
Pye 45rpm 7N 17436

Bring Me Sunshine / Just Around The Corner
Columbia 45rpm DB 8646 (reissued as DB 8753)

Following You Around / Eric And Ernie’s Theme
Philips 45rpm 6006 069

Bring You Sunshine
Starline compilation LP SRS 5066
(reissue of Mr. Morecambe Meets Mr. Wise with extra track: Bring Me Sunshine)

Get Out Of That!
Philips compilation LP 6382 005
(reissue of An Evening With Ernie Wise At Eric Morecambe’s Place with extra track: Following You Around)

Morecambe And Wise Sing Flanagan And Allen
Philips LP 6382 095
Underneath The Arches
Run Rabbit Run
Unbrella Man
Are You Havin’ Any Fun?
Strollin’
A Shanty In Old Shanty Town
Down And Out Blues
Nice People
Hometown
Dreaming
Can’t We Meet Again
Where The Arches Used To Be

We Get On So Easily / Positive Thinking
E.M.I. 45rpm EMI 2475

Morecambe & Wise
E.M.I. CD 528602 2
(reissued as The Morecambe & Wise Collection H.M.V. CD 5 43295 2)
(We Get Along So Easily) Don’t You Agree?
Ton Up Boy
That Riviera Touch
Indians
A-Wassailing
Not Now – Later
Me And My Shadow
Just Around The Corner
Boom Oo Yata-Ta-Ta
Tape Recorder
We’re The Guys
The Happiest Christmas Of All
Singing The Blues
Songs Of Youth
Positive Thinking
Get It Right Corporal
The Pilbroch Bla
Now That You’re Here
Your Loving Smile
The Ambassidor Of Khasiland
The “B” Side
Impressions
Why Did I Let You Go
Battery Chickens
Grieg Piano Concerto
Bring Me Sunshine

television soundtracks:

It’s Morecambe And Wise
B.B.C. LP RED 128M (reissued as REC 534: The B.B.C. T.V. Shows)
Here You Are, 45 Minutes Of Fun And Laughter
Eric Morecambe, You’ll Do Anything For A Laugh
There’s A Lot Of Flu About – Flu’s A Nasty Thing
The Diamond Ring In The Window
Ern, You Have Got A Magnificent Body
Carry On Ern
A Visit From The Police – Are You Mrs. T. Potter?
Welcome To The Show
I’m Going To Be Bob Hope’s Chief Scriptwriter
Finale

Morecambe And Wise Christmas Special
B.B.C. 2CD 0563 53683 7
Bring Me Sunshine
Merry Christmas, Best Friend
Sawing A Peter Cushing In Half
Christmas Dinner With Ann Hamilton
In The Bath
Giant Christmas Tree
Ernie’s Fab Gear
Front Of Curtain With Eric Porter
At Home With Fenella Fielding
Lord Nelson And Lady Hamilton
Des O’Connor In Front Of Curtain
The Christmas Turkeys
Grieg’s Piano Concerto
John Wayne
Glenda Jackson In Front Of Curtain
Ernie’s Play: Victoria And Albert
Bring Me Sunshine

radio soundtracks:

So, What Do You Think Of The Show So Far?
B.B.C. LP REB 210
Overture And Beginners “When Was The Last Time We Did Radio?”
Byron And Keats “Oh What A Treat, When Two Poets Meet”
A Marriage With Licence “Have You Told Her About Teddy?”
Pilchards “Shall I Tell You What’s Coming On Telly?”
Bath Time For Ernie “What’s This Contraption Hanging On The Door?”
The Spy With The Cold Nose (A Play What Ernie Wrote)

Morecambe And Wise – Bring Me Sunshine
B.B.C. double-cassette ZBBC 1611 (reissued as ZBBC 1928), 2CD 0563 52809 5
reissue of LPs: It’s Morecambe And Wise and So What Do You Think Of The Show So Far?

Morecambe And Wise 2 – What Do You Think Of It So Far?
B.B.C. double-cassette ZBBC 1734
broadcasts of February 2 1975, February 9 1975, September 5 1976 and September 12 1976

Morecambe And Wise 3 – You Can’t See The Join
B.B.C. double-cassette ZBBC 2134
broadcasts of September 26 1976, October 10 1976, December 11 1977 and March 25 1978

 

VIDEOS

Two Of A Kind (6 volumes of A.T.V. highlights)
I.T.C. Home Video

Morecambe And Wise – The Classic Collection (5 volumes of B.B.C. highlights)
Watershed Video

Morecambe And Wise Musical Extravaganzas
B.B.C. Video

The World Of Morecambe And Wise
Thames Video

The Very Best Of Morecambe And Wise
Thames Video

Christmas With Morecambe And Wise
Thames Video

Eric And Ernie’s Christmas Show
Thames Video

Eric And Ernie Live
Polygram Video

Christmas Cracker
Polygram Video

 

LASER DISC

The World Of Morecambe And Wise
Thames Video
includes highlights from their first 3 Thames specials

 

DVDs

The Best Of Morecambe And Wise
B.B.C. Video
reissue of the Musical Extravaganzas video

Morecambe & Wise - series 1 and 2
BBC 2DVD
includes the surviving episode from the first BBC series
plus the entire second season

Morecambe & Wise - series 3
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - series 4
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - series 5
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - series 6
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - series 7
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - series 8
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - series 9
BBC 2DVD

Morecambe & Wise - the Christmas specials
BBC 2DVD

The Morecambe & Wise Show – The Thames Years
Network 3DVD
includes the first 4 Thames specials plus series 1

Two of a Kind - series 2 (1962)
Network 2DVD


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