Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

My Future Without Eric

1979 Article

Ernie in his garden

The moustache

Ernie at home
As Eric Morecambe takes it easy, Ernie Wise thinks about a new solo career.

Ernie Wise may branch out on his own – hosting a TV talent show.

The comedian revealed that he had received an offer to do a series and he may make a decision soon.

Ernie also has plans for some memoirs what he might write if his comedy partner Eric Morecambe’s health does not recover in the way everyone hopes.

“But it isn’t really a proposition now – not until I’m 70.” Said the one with the short fat hairy legs. “Anyway, I can’t do the Britt Ekland bit can I?”

As he relaxed in the conservatory of his home near Maidenhead, he gave thinks for the modern miracle that saved Eric’s life – the open heart surgery that lasted seven hours following his second heart attack.


But Ernie admitted they still hoped Eric would be fir enough soon to begin a new Christmas Morecambe and Wise TV Special.

He said: “Everyone asks, ‘How’s Eric?’ and ‘Are you going to do a Christmas show?’”

“Well, Eric has grown a moustache and things are easing along. I’m sure everything is going to be all right, but we are not back on the treadmill yet.”

“It’s a hard question for him: ‘Will you be able to do that sort of thing, having had open heart surgery?’ But all I can say is that he seems ready to go.”

Meanwhile Ernie has been using his time away from the TV spotlight for his first real holiday in years.

It has meant more time at home with his wife, Doreen, whom he married 26 years ago.

He has also been able to devote more time to his secret passion – gourmet foods.

“I’m not a great drinker, but I do like a nice glass of wine – and I love good food.” He said.

“These days, I seem to be six pounds overweight. I do exercise, but not enough.”

“The thing is I should push myself away from the table sooner.”

“But I’m always the one to have a second helping of apple pie and ice cream.”

“I use to be a cook in the Merchant Navy, an I’ve always maintained an interest in cooking.”


“I love to get the chance to try different foods, which I do when I’m abroad.”

Recently, Ernie has been abroad a lot – to France, Mexico and America, where he has been trying to sell past Morecambe and Wise shows to TV moguls.

As we walked through the garden to his swimming pool, he spoke about the future.

“You are asking me if people would accept me on my own – instead of the two of us together?” he said. “Well I think if people knew the situation, they would accept it – if they knew Eric couldn’t do the work.”

“You could spend all year just working on one Christmas show. But I’m not vegetating. I don’t believe in retirement.”

“If you are fit and well, you shouldn’t retire. No one should retire if they don’t want to.”

Until the future is clearer, he is unable to consider many offers of work – but he will certainly not be doing anything too strenuous.

He said: “I shall be 54 at the end of the month and when you get past your mid-fifties, you don’t want to be working all the time.”

© Titbits 1979

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