On TV: Saturday 1st January 2011
Channel: BBC2 9-10.30pm
Episode Type: One-off drama
In 1 Sentence: Enjoyable sentimental drama + packed with funny and moving moments = an unforgettable watch.
BBC Summary: Bafta-winning writer Peter Bowker's touching and funny single drama tells the story of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise's formative years, from children's variety stars to national treasures.
“Sadie - You could be like Ernie Wise!
Eric - I don’t want to be like Ernie wise! Big head; short legs; full of himself!”
- Eric and his mother upon seeing Ernie for the first time
Pretty much everyone who lives in the UK have heard of Morecambe & Wise - the British comedy act who are known for being the best-loved comics in Britain. This being said I hadn’t really heard of Morecambe & Wise - being part of the younger generation. In their hey day they would get over 28 million viewers watching their Christmas Specials (which are being repeated on the BBC at the moment). So coming from someone who had very little contact with the comedy duo, I only casually began to watch Eric & Ernie - the only draw being that Victoria Wood was starring, a favourite of mine.
And am I glad I did! Eric & Ernie was absolutely pitch perfect. From the brilliant script to the fantastic casting - notably Daniel Rigby as Eric, a star in the making! - E&E portrayed the duo from starting out to recovering from their television debut disaster. If anything it would have been great if it had gone on a little longer, as I’d have loved to have seen them loved by the public.
Other than Daniel Rigby and Bryan Dick (Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise) who were endearingly funny and I’m assured by my parents spot on, the other outstanding performance was Victoria Wood as Sadie Bartholomew - Eric’s mother. Any of the three were worthy of Baftas: I can’t wait to see who have been nominated this year as there have been so many first-rate dramas of late.
Eric & Ernie simply made me proud to be British, and I am so lucky to be able to see such world-class television on such a regular basis.