Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

The Book What I Wrote

Book Review from 2007


Eddie with Jimmy Cricket
For those very few who don’t know who Eddie Braben is, this book should give you a few pointers, to the rest of us it provides an often funny look into the life of one of Britain’s finest gag men.

Eddie has worked with, and produced gags for many of the top comedians including Ken Dodd, Ronnie Corbet, Jimmy Tarbuck and of course Morecambe and Wise.

The book covers his early days before he became famous; leaving school with the words of his teaching ringing in his ears: “See you in a few years when you come back to empty the bins.”

Working from a fruit and veg stall he began writing jokes on the back of brown bags until finally he managed to sell one to Charlie Chester. It wasn’t a particularly funny joke, but it was a start.

His big break came with Ken Dodd who he stayed with for 15 years. Ken’s rapid fire style, almost eight gags a minute, refined Eddies writing talent and paved the way for his most famous job.

Eric and Ern moved from ATV to the BBC in 1968, bringing with them their writers at the time, Hills and Green. After Eric suffered his first heart attack, Hills and Green moved on, leaving a vacancy open. Eddie was offered the job which he took up, and the rest is entertainment history.

Eddie’s writing style shines through in this book, littered with amusing observations and the ever present one-liners. Like the human mind, it often goes off on a tangent, mentioning things from actors he once met to a scruffy looking dog he often bumps into whilst out walking.

Many of the chapters include Morecambe & Wise lines and routines, some of which were never performed; either because the situation didn’t arise or they were written a long time after Eric and Ern had passed away. In a way this amounts to new Morecambe & Wise material, that upon reading, you can immediately picture the boys saying the lines.

A really good read that is both amusing and interesting, and well worth tracking down. The opening paragraph sets the scene for what is to come;

“This is not a textbook with precise detail, nor is it a powerful novel with a strong storyline. It’s the story of my time with two mates who happened to be the funniest and most loved double-act in the rich and glorious history of British comedy”

© 2007

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