Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

Morecambe and Wise Interview (1971)

1971 Article

The Echo
Interview with Morecambe & Wise before a show at the Gaumont, Southampton, October 1971 from the Southampton Evening Echo

Do you know anything about the Southampton area?

Eric : We are coming to Southampton. Either that or South Africa… one of those two. I’ve forgotten which.
Ern: We have played in Southampton before. We appeared at the Gaumont, and at the Grand. We put a whole show in at the Grand. Didn’t make any money, but we put a show in. The last time we were in Southampton I went on a trip on the QE2. Beautiful ship. Feel very proud when your on that boat, and its…
Eric: Going down…. I am going to see my God-Mother, she lives in Southampton. I don’t know whereabouts, but she’s coming to see me at the theatre. Miss Dolly Goldsmith is her name. I’ll be going up to have some tea with her.
Ern : I used to come to Fawley during the war. The tanker base.
Eric: He was a spy.
Ern: I was on a tanker called the Ben Reed.
Eric: Hellfire!
Ern: Is it still going?
Eric: It wasn’t then. You used to have to row it.

Some say you never mix socially. Is this true?

Eric: It is true, and it isn’t true. The point is, if we have to mix socially we will. If we don’t, we don’t. That’s what has helped to keep us together such a long time.
Ern: People seem to think the image extends from the stage. It’s like Laurel and Hardy.
Eric: Chums and buddy-buddies.
Ern: We don’t live together
Eric: I mean we are not staying at the same hotel this week. But we might next week.

Do you like your own humour?

Eric : It makes us laugh. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do it if it didn’t. We don’t do any joke anymore.
Ern: Dialogue and character stuff. Play on our image that we’ve created. We’ve got one scriptwriter…
Eric: ..and he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know he’s working for us. He lives in Liverpool.

You haven’t always been a success on TV have you?

Ern: Our first TV show was in the Fifties and called Running Wild. It was a flop.
Eric : 1953 They weren’t ready for us then.
Ern: And we’ve practised since then.
Eric: True.
Ern: We were frightened… scared.
Eric: The best thing that ever happened to us was that failure you mentioned. If we had been successful then we would have been out, and out now, gone. “Morton and Who?” it would have been.
Ern: Might have been an exaggerated success, and lost it. Although Benny Hill was successful then, wasn’t he?
Eric: I think we will make success last longer now. We’ve got more experience now.

Do you prefer live shows to TV, or vice versa?

Ern: It’s not a question of preferences really. Remember out TV show are live.
Eric: You wouldn’t think so, but they are.
Ern: It’s just a matter of coming out now and then to meet the audience.
Eric: Meet the folks! If we hadn’t have come here do you realise that we wouldn’t have met you? Makes it worth the trip now. It’s great appearing live. You walk into a theatre and see “Morecambe and Wise in the Morecambe and Wise Show – House Full”
Ern: I thought that was the name of the film… Sold Out.
Eric: But we were in it.
Ern : We can even remember going out on the town twenty-two years ago and with Ivy Benson’s band.

© Southampton Evening Echo 1971
Next Page >>

You may also like:

Audio interview from 1972
Recently unearthed radio interview with Eric and Ern just before a performance in Plymouth.