Morecambe and Wise worked together for mor than forty years, honing skills drawn from the music hall, variety, radio, cinema and TV, and then ...Show synopsisMorecambe and Wise worked together for mor than forty years, honing skills drawn from the music hall, variety, radio, cinema and TV, and then combining them to produce an award-winning show for the BBC. This biography includes unpublished material from the BBC archives, and celebrity interviews.Hide synopsis
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Eric Bartholomew (Morecambe) and Ernest Wiseman (Wise), met while still teenagers on the Jack Hylton theatre circuit in the U.K., and when Sadie Bartholomew took Ernie under her wing, the two lads became as brothers, sharing digs, discussing their idols Abbott and Costello and keeping their starry sights forever on Hollywood. You will hoot with laughter at the fragments of their repartee delivered with such casual aplomb that it seemed they never had to rehearse. But they did rehearse - assiduously - and in time, their television shows became works of art, with stars such as Andre Previn and Elton John vying to be part of the show.
Both content in their marriages, there isn't a whole lot said about their wives, but enough to realise that both their relationships were solid, constant and supportive. The poignancy comes later when Eric has three heart attacks, the third one fatal, dying at only 58, and Ernie goes on alone, becoming a single act, but never quite finding his feet without his partner. The account of Eric's funeral is tear-jerking: the laughter in the church with each show business pal getting up to supply his account of the relationship, followed by Ernie simply recounting the words of their sign-off song, "Bring Me Sunshine", bringing most to tears.
There is so much in this extensively researched biography that at times it seems almost too much, but that is only because they were everywhere - opening fetes, doing interviews, performing in clubs or for charity and going from ITV to the BBC and then making a suicidal jump back to ITV in 1977, no longer with their brilliant director, John Ammonds, and writer, Eddie Braben. After this they appeared to falter, never returning to the heights of the BBC shows and losing that chance of conquering the U.S.
These were genuine people - the sort you would be proud to know, the sort you could easily love, and Professor Graham McCann has captured this perfectly, so that for the time you spend with this book, you will appreciate just how special they both were.
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