Eddie Braben - A Tribute
Feature from 2013
Eddie Braben is synonymous with Morecambe & Wise. His writing skills took their natural warmth and brought it out for everyone to see. His skill with words, matching them perfectly with Eric and Ern brought in the largest viewing figures ever, and made icons of Britain's best loved comedy duo.
He first saw them in his teens at the Liverpool Empire, not as top of the bill but in the lowest position as fill in comedians. What he saw made little impression, the act was terrible and no one had even heard of them. Little did he know that one day, together they would create a brilliant partnership that would take them to the highest level of entertainment.
Eddie began writing jokes while working in the local market. In between selling bananas, he would scribble ideas down on the back of paper bags. Occasionally he would send them to comics he had seen in the theatre and eventually he sold one. That was to the first of many.
Working his way through the ranks, even staring in his own radio show, he was picked up by Ken Dodd and became his full time joke man.
Ken’s style of delivery was fast, really fast, about eight jokes a minutes, and luckily for both of them, this was Edie’s style. Quick witty one-liners with killer punch lines. Eddie wrote them and Ken delivered them, often within a few minutes of them being thought up.
Eventually Ken and Eddie parted company and at the same time Eric and Ernie were looking for a new writer. Their previous ones had gone back to ATV thinking Eric would never work again after his heart attack.
Bill Cotton had is hand on the pulse of entertainment and was the head of light entertainment at the BBC, later rising to director. He heard Eddie was free and he knew he would be an ideal match for Morecambe and Wise.
Eric and Ernie were not as sure though, and originally turn the offer down. They knew they were not quick-fire comedians and thought Eddie’s style was not a good fit. Bill persuaded them to let Eddie write a sample script and the rest is history.
In 2007 we were lucky enough to interview this brilliant writer, and you can read the full interview here
© morecambeandwise.com 2013