Morecambe & Wise’s erased BBC1 debut found E! News UK
A missing episode of The Morecambe & Wise Show has been discovered by the Morecambe family.
The 45-minute program was produced in 1970 as a special, and airing on Thursday, October 8 of the same year was the first regular edition of their hit comedy format to be produced for BBC1.
Never repeated, it was discovered in an old film box by Eric Morecambe’s son Gary last year and will now be returned to the BBC.
Returning to BBC television in 1968 after a stint with ITV broadcaster ATV, Morecambe & Wise directed four popular series for BBC2, the last of which aired on the channel in August 1970. Although their first Christmas special – at from 1969 – aired on the company’s main TV channel, it wasn’t until a year later that the series proper made the jump, staying there until the comics moved to Thames Television in 1977.
The main recording of the special was deleted by the BBC on an unknown date, believed to be in the 1970s, with only an off-air audio recording of its soundtrack surviving. As a special episode rather than a mid-series episode, it is often overlooked by program listings and has also been incorrectly labeled as a compilation episode in the past.
Now ITN Productions has made a documentary for ITV focusing on the lost program, which Gary Morecambe discovered in 2020 while searching for documents.
ITN says, “Eric’s son found an old box of film in the attic. Its contents were a mystery because the label had been torn off. When the film was verified by experts, they were stunned by what came out: an episode that had been invisible for 50 years. “
They explain that the episode involves “stage curtains, ventriloquism, and a toy dog who shoots nerve gas from its behind. The duo’s longtime collaborator Ann Hamilton stars as a nurse in a skit. hospital, watching Eric eat all of Ernie’s grapes and then use the empty bag to catch an invisible ball. There’s even a daring bedroom sketch in which Eric spies on a newly married couple in the apartment next door. while they make love.
Morecambe & Wise: The Lost Tapes will air at 9pm on ITV, Wednesday, July 28, with the Morecambe family and a selection of famous guests viewing and commenting on a selection of “the funniest sketches from the newly discovered program”. It will also present “a rare archival film of the duo at work”.
The discovery brings the number of missing episodes of The Morecambe & Wise Show to five. All from Series 1, they also survive as soundtrack recordings, but all videos are lost. These are episodes 1 to 4 and 8. Seventy episodes of the program were produced in total; Series 1 episodes 5 and 7 were recovered from black and white film copies in 2018 and restored in color, while all other programs were released in a DVD box set.
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