Morecambe and Wise - The Greatest Moment
On the television...Broadcast to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the 77 Christmas show that reached a staggering 28 million viewers, this 90 minute special was really two programmes in one.
For several weeks before, UK Gold ran adverts that encouraged viewers to vote for their favourite Morecambe & Wise routine, the winning one was to be shown on the show. In a way this made the show one of those top 100, or top 50 things ever.
During our interviews with various people though, we had an idea that it would be something a bit more than that. We knew people were being interviewed for something that was happening around Christmas time, but out initial thoughts were the Christmas DVD release. However, when this turned out to be void of extras and news of the UK Gold special came to light, we realised it would be more than a clips show.
Covering Eric and Ernie’s life from the early days, the programme was packed with interviews from people that knew them and worked with them. Many of their guest stars talked about the shows, how they enjoyed working with them and particular aspects of their time together.
Joan Morecambe and Doreen Wise, in one of her rare interviews, took us through the events from their first meeting, poor reviews, summer seasons, the ATV shows and the fabulous BBC years.
Other guests included Edward Woodward, Bruce Forsyth, Hannah Gordon and Andre Previn (in an interview recorded in 2001). Barry Cryer (credited as their writer, even though he wrote very few of their shows) and Eddie Braben discussed how they changed as an act, and it was lovely to see Ann Hamilton fondly recalling her time with the boys.
Of course, no show if this type would be complete without clips, and we were treated to some classics from all eras of their partnership. The only downside was that none of the clips were run in full, and most of them were either cut short or were interrupted by the narration or one of the guests speaking over the lines.
Guests missing (maybe out of the country, too busy or too expensive!) included Angela Rippon, Glenda Jackson and Des O'Connor. All of whom have appeared in previous documentaries.
The results? Well, UK Gold viewers voted The Stripper as their all time favourite sketch. No real surprise then, as this sketch consistently appears in top 10 lists.
Despite going over things covered in numerous books and previous TV specials, it was still great to sit down and follow it all again. Well done UK Gold.
© morecambeandwise.com 2008