20 April 2017
Still bringing us sunshine
Morecambe and Wise Forever, ITV3
What bliss! A biopic of Morecambe and Wise in two episodes of an hour each (16 and 17 April). One would think there was little left to say about the lives and careers of mid-twentieth-century Britain’s most famous television comic duo, but these programmes demonstrate that the Eric and Ernie barrel is not fully scraped. Well, not quite.
The pleasure is in the archive footage of course, of young John Eric Bartholomew from Morecambe and young Ernest Wiseman hoofing it in speckled black-and-white films of their performances in end-of-the-pier northern variety clubs. I loved the films of them in rehearsal – showing what extraordinary discipline and sharp timing it takes to get that apparently effortless comic effect; how difficult it is to pretend to dance badly.
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