Eric & Ernie

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

You can warm your hands on the waves of affection that waft from writer Peter Bowker’s funny, sweet-natured look at the early years of our most beloved comic partnership, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, first shown a year ago.

We follow the duo just before they hit the big time, from their first meeting when they were both child stars on the same bill, up to their first, disastrous television appearance: “Northern comedy just doesn’t play on television,” says a snitty BBC exec, before forcing the lads into a series of lame TV sketches.

The evolution of the surreally brilliant act that was to make them adored is nicely done, thanks to Bowker’s light touch and a smashing cast, particularly Daniel Rigby who won a Bafta as the genial but sharp-witted Eric, managing to look and sound like him without resorting to caricature. Bryan Dick is grafter Ernie, whose forbearance is often tested by his partner.

About this programme

Drama charting the early years of one of Britain's best comedy double acts, focusing on the influence of Eric Morecambe's mother Sadie (Victoria Wood). A chance meeting on the children's variety circuit sees the start of an unlikely friendship and Eric soon becomes the funnyman to Ernie Wise's `feed'. But as they grow older, the duo struggle to make their way in mainstream entertainment with a few dubious tours and an ill-advised TV series that has the critics gunning for them. Daniel Rigby and Bryan Dick star as Eric and Ernie, with Jim Moir (better known to comedy fans as Vic Reeves) and Reece Shearsmith as their fathers.

Cast and crew

Cast

Sadie
Victoria Wood
Eric
Daniel Rigby
Ernie
Bryan Dick
George
Jim Moir
Harry Wiseman
Reece Shearsmith
Young Eric
Jonah Lees
Young Ernie
Harry McEntire
Little Eric
Thomas Atkinson
Little Ernie
Josh Benson
Joan
Emer Kenny
Doreen
Hannah Steele
Jack Hylton
Ted Robbins
Gordon Noval
Andrew Greenough
Ronnie Waldman
Julian Wadham
Showgirl
Esme Bianco
MC
Thomas Aldersley
Edna
Angela Curran
Vernon
Stephen Aintree
Nigel
Alex Price
Fishmonger
Martin Walsh
Usherette
Clara Darcy
Landlady
Ria Jones
Lily
Pam Shaw
Stage door keeper 1
Marcus Taylor
Stage door keeper 2
Simon Holland Roberts
Stage door keeper 3
Fine Time Fontayne
Stage door keeper 4
Lee Oakes
Doug
Robert Willox
Billy Crackers
Peter Gunn
Girl from Vasaria
Carolynne Good
Heckler
Ian Ross-Henderson

Crew

Director
Jonny Campbell
Producer
Timothy Bricknell
Writer
Peter Bowker
Categories
Drama

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