TB: How do you get distinguished artists like Andre Previn and Eric Porter to become your targets on the Morecambe and Wise shows?
EM: You mean Andy Preview and Coal Porter. Easy. We just use threats. We told Andy Preview that if he didn’t come on the show we would report him for misconducting himself in public. And we threatened Coal Porter with another episode of Bruce Forsyth’s Saga. Andy Preview still hasn’t got over hearing me play the piano. It was Grieg’ Piano Concerto in ‘E’ flat colonel arranged by Mrs Mills. Mr Preview was most impressed. Said he’d never heard anything like it in his life.
TB: What do you do with yourself when you’re not appearing at the theatre or on television?
EM: Well, I’ve got a lovely wife and family, a dog and a bank manager to support. The bank manager refuses to come out or our wardrobe. Says it suits him in there.
In my spare time, I am something of an ornithologist. And I like looking at birds.
My main hobby is fishing. Mind you, I’ve been a bit put off since I saw Jaws. Haven’t fancied a bit since then. Friend of mine played one of the victims. It was a bit part. I don’t get the time to go to the pictures as often as I would like. Last film I saw before Jaws was Harry Secombe’ epic Goon With The Wind. Best film I ever saw was Humphrey Gocart in the Lunchpack Of Notre Dame.
My favourite films are westerns. Did you ever see Hopalong Cassidy And The Sundance Kid? Nanette Newman was great in that. And how about Gunfight At The OK Choral starring the George Mitchell Minstrels. That left a lump in the throat.
TB: Peter Cushing is a good friend of yours, isn’t he?
EM: Correct sunshine. But that’s not to say I like his films. He takes people for suckers. I’ll say this for him though. He does like a part you can get your teeth into. Peter is planning to do a musical version of Dracula with Christopher Lee. It will be called Teeth For Two.
TB: Are you and Ernie planning any more films?
EM: Only if the right vehicle comes along. We recently turned down one idea. It was suggested we do a remake of Bridge Over The River Kwai but because of a low budget it was going to be made in Newcastle. Bridge Over The River Tyne didn’t seems to have quite the same ring about it.
Like all clowns, Ern and I have got a secret yearning to do Hamlet. We played Hamlet once, it finished up Luton 4, Dulwich Hamlet 0.
TB: The Editor has invited us to leave his page Eric. Well, don’t just stand there. Take his money and run. I leave you with this final thought; What do you think of it so far?
EM: (no answer)
© Titbits 1976