Gary Morecambe On His New Book - Pt. 2
Feature from 2009Continued….
Did you discover anything new about his school days or early life?
The one thing I learned about Eric’s school days, which I still think about now, is that except when he was entertaining friends, he was very remote and introspective. One childhood friend of his told me that if she or anyone got on the same bus as Eric, he would say his hellos then move to a seat alone and just gaze out the window. I’d like to know what his dreams were about! I sense through other comments made over the period of putting the book together that he had plans – unconscious to begin with possibly – that he knew would take him away from generations of everyday northern life. As a parent I found him someone who always seemed to be on a mission. Perhaps it began much earlier than any of us realised.
The press release also, sadly, says it will be the final definitive book, is that true?
I think this has to be true in terms of me fronting another one as I’ve done just about everything possible with M&W in print and I want to concentrate more on the Eric Morecambe Museum, which I hope to see opened in Morecambe in 2010. But there might be other publications I oversee, as it were, and there’s talk of an updating and reprinting (with new photos) of Behind the Sunshine which I wrote with the wonderfully talented Martin Sterling (who now writes some of Corrie!!) If that happens it will be for 2011, which marks the seventieth anniversary of M&W working as a double act.
Did you find a strong affection for Eric in the people you interviewed?
The affection for Eric, and indeed Eric and Ernie, was simply staggering. What was wonderful was interviewing those who knew him in childhood and were not therefore coming at him as the legend he later became. They just talked so naturally about him and have great tales to tell that made me smile for hours after.
How does that feel, other people loving your father, and like the rest of the nation, think of him as a family member?
It actually brings a lump to my throat – mind you, so does hearing Bring Me Sunshine! I’m getting sentimental in late middle-age and, as someone who never has really been interested in his own course in life other than making a reasonable enough living, I take great pride in what Eric and Ernie gave to our nation. They were – they are – truly phenomenal.
Now the book is complete, what will you be doing next?
I’m currently writing a travel memoir of two months I spent back-packing across Asia at the beginning of this year. I’m also working on ideas with comedians Lee Mack and Ben Miller – separate ideas, that is: I don’t think the two even know each other! I went through a phase where I was publishing a book a year for twelve years, and I’ve had enough of that pressure. I want to enjoy more what I do – hence travelling. I guess I’m privileged in that I can take time out to do such things, but I’m also well-organised, and though I’m 53, I started planning for where I’m at now from about the age of 30!
We would like to thank Gary for giving us this great insight into the new book, and look forward to reading it soon.
© morecambeandwise.com 2009