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Eric Morecambe's Biography

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Eric Morecambe was born John Eric Bartholomew on 14 May 1926 in Morecambe, England.

He was encouraged by his mother, Sadie to enter show business at an early age. He put together his own dancing and comedy act and became a popular figure, hiring himself out around the Morecambe area.

In 1939, Eric won a heat for a national talent search contest, the prize being an audition with bandleader Jack Hylton, amongst the audience was one Ernest Wiseman (Ernie Wise).

Sometime later, Eric was invited to appear in a show Hylton was putting on called Youths Take a Bow and later on into the run Ernie Wise joined the cast.

Morecambe & Wise were soon to form a double act with Sadie acting as their manager and organising all their gigs.

The war intervened and the pair were separated until teaming up again after a chance meeting in the street and come the end of the forties the comic duo were well on the road to success.

After appearing in an extended run on the Sunday Night at the London Palladium show, Eric and Ernie were signed up for their own television show in 1961.

The Morecambe and Wise Show became enormously popular, starting on ITV and later transferring to BBC in 1968, where the show was broadcast in colour for the first time.

It was during the Seventies that the show really hit the big time with a long list of celebrities including Peter Cushing, Glenda Jackson and Shirley Bassey eager to appear on it. The Christmas shows were always the highlight of the year and the famous show in 1977 broadcast to twenty-eight million viewers.

In 1978 The Morecambe and Wise Show transferred back to ITV which was the start of their decline, the chemistry between the two seemed to have gone. In 1984, Eric, at the age of 58, suffered a fatal heart attack. The 1983 Christmas special was to be their last show.

In addition to his comic life Eric Morecambe had a lifelong passion for Luton Town Football Club becoming a club director in 1970 and vice president in 1977.

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