Wednesday, 28 May 2014

All the Right Notes

The funniest moment in British TV history? The “Mr Preview” sketch from Morecambe and Wise’s 1971 Christmas Show. Fact. Well, it’s my fact at any rate. 

It was thirty years ago today that comedy legend Eric Morecambe was taken from us, felled by heart attack minutes after appearing on stage in Tewkesbury where he’d been reminiscing with his old chum Stan Stennett.
This is how BBC Radio 4 reported the news that day. The newsreader is Bryan Martin, the report comes from John Spicer.

In March 1984 Eric had recorded what was to be his last broadcast. He was the guest in the first show in a new series for Roy Castle - Castle’s Corner – the follow-up to the long-running Castle’s on the Air. Eric was a family friend – Roy had met his wife Fiona though an introduction from Eric – and that friendship is evident in this recording. When Eric goes off-script on more than one occasion Roy can be heard to remark “it doesn’t say any of that here.”  And we also witness Eric playing the trombone, sort of, along with the versatile Roy on trumpet.
Castle’s Corner aired on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday 31 May 1984. It was produced for BBC Manchester by Ron McDonnell.

In July of 1984 Radio 2 broadcast “an appreciation of Eric Morecambe” produced by Mike Craig and titled One of a Kind. There were contributions from Ernie Wise, Joan Morecambe, Eddie Braben, Dickie Davies, John Ammonds, Sid Green, Dick Hills, Dickie Henderson, Robert Morley, Harry Secombe, Stan Stennett and Frankie Vaughan.
One of a Kind was transmitted on Thursday 26 July 1984.

Eric Morecambe 1926-1984 (Coughs. “Arsenal!”)

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