Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

When the Sunshine. Ended for Eric & Ern

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

When the Sunshine. Ended for Eric & Ern

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE MORTON

MORECAMBE and Wise... they were the ultimate comedy duo.

Stars of stage, film and television who became 'national treasures' long before the term entered common usage.

For those of us growing up in the 1970s, they were like hilarious uncles who lit up family TV screens in millions of British homes.

The Christmas specials are part of popular culture folklore.

And anyone of a certain age will remember Eric's sketch with composer Andre Previn in 1971, or TV news presenter Angela Rippon showing off her dancing skills on the Morecambe and Wise Show in 1976.

Older folk may well remember the pair's appearances around the region's theatres as they honed their considerable skills before becoming household names and huge stars.

Eric Morecambe would have turned 87 last week, and the comedy genius is still greatly missed.

The comic, of course, was a great football fan and a director of Luton Town.

In a Chronicle interview in August 1971, Eric talked of his long-standing friendship with Malcolm Macdonald, who had just signed for Newcastle United from Morecambe's beloved Luton Town who were then in the old Second Division.

The comic said prophetically: "Malcolm is going to be one of the greats. He'll play for England in my opinion."

Asked to outline Supermac's strengths, Morecambe talked of the striker's strength, speed and power, before adding: "On top of that he's got short, fat hairy legs. And he swears too. What more could you ask for?" Macdonald, of course, had signed for the Toon for PS180,000 - an eye-watering amount at the time.

Eric quipped: "Tell manager Joe Harvey, Luton are now ready to buy Macdonald back. How much? Tell Joe I'll slip him PS50 if he gives him a free transfer this week."

Eric and Ernie had worked across the region many times and had fond memories. …

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