Morecambe & Wise have been described as "the most illustrious, and the best-loved, double-act that Britain has ever produced."

BIOGRAPHY

14 May 1926

Born John Eric Bartholomew at 42 Buxton Street, Morecambe, Lancashire

1940

Eric meets stage partner Ernest Wiseman at a You Takes a Bow revue at Nottingham Empire.

1941

Eric changes his name to Morecambe and appears with Ernie as a double act for the first time at the Liverpool Empire

May 1944

Eric becomes a ‘Bevan Boy’ and works as a coal miner in Accrington

11 December 1952

Eric marries Joan Bartlett

14 September 1953

Eric’s daughter Gail is born

1954

First Morecambe & Wise TV series – Running Wild – for BBC

21 April 1956

Eric’s Son Gary is born

1961

The Morecambe and Wise series with ATV begins and Eric and Ernie are invited to appear on the Royal Command Performance.

1963

Morecambe and Wise win the first of their six BAFTA’s

1964

The Beatles are guest stars on the Morecambe and Wise Show and Eric and Ernie make their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in America.

1965

Made first film together The Intelligence Men, followed by That Riviera Touch (1966), and The Magnificent Two (1967)

1968

Eric suffers first heart attack. Morecambe & Wise move to BBC 1 and host first of ten consecutive Christmas Day shows

1970

Eric’s son Steven is born (adopted 1974)

1971

Andre Previn, Shirley Bassey and Glenda Jackson all appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Show

1975

The Morecambe & Wise show starts on Radio 2

1976

Eric is awarded the OBE with Ernie

1977

Eric’s Mother, Sadie Bartholomew dies. Eric becomes president of the Lord Taverners and the Morecambe and Wise Show is watched by a record 28 million viewers

January 1978

Morecambe & Wise rejoin ITV

15 March 1979

Eric suffers a second heart attack requiring a seven hour bypass operation

1980

Eric plays ‘Funny Uncle’ role in part of an ITV special titled Betjeman’s Britain.

1981

Eric plays an RAF officer in Paramount Pictures film Late Flowering Love and publishes Mr Lonely, a novel about a stand up comedian

2 March 1983

One-hour special shown on ITV called Eric & Ernie’s Variety Days

1982

Publishes novel, The Reluctant Vampire

1983

Publishes sequel, The Vampire’s Revenge

1983

Morecambe & Wise make their last film, Night Train To Murder

1983

Final ITV Christmas Show special is screened

28 May 1984

Eric dies after suffering a heart attack on stage at the Rose Theatre, Tewkesbury, aged 58

1994

Morecambe and Wise: Behind the Sunshine, the book by Gary Morecambe and Martin Sterling becomes a bestseller

1996

Morecambe and Wise are voted the favourite entertainers of all time by television viewers in a poll ton celebrate sixty years of BBC Television

1998

Radio Times readers vote Morecambe and Wise the best TV comedy stars of all time

1999

A statue of Eric Morecambe by Graham Ibbeson is unveiled by HM The Queen in Morecambe

21 March 1999

Ernie Wise dies from heart failure and a chest infection at the Nuffield Hospital, Wexham, near Slough on the morning of 21 March 1999.

2016

In the summer of 2016, it is planned to reunite Eric and Ernie in Blackpool, to mark the 75th Anniversary of the formation of their double act in 1941