Eric And Ernie’s Christmas Show, 1978
Morecambe And Wise’s 1977 Christmas show had been one of the most watched TV shows In TV history with ratings estimated at between 1 and 28 million viewers. It was also the duo’s last for the BBC. In 1978 they headed for pastures new and Thames Television where over the next five years they would make their final TV shows before the sad death of Eric Morecambe.
There was no regular series in 1978 instead the duo made two specials one in October (their first work for Thames) and the other was the 1978 Christmas Special.
A spoof dance routine featuring ‘Anna Ford’ (popular newsreader at the time) was planned to open the show, but since Ford herself had refused to appear, a stand in was used, with camera angles and slapstick comedy carefully concealing her face.
The show opens with Eric stuck on one side of the stage with his suit on the other, he resorts to increasingly absurd ways to cross the stage, whilst Ernie out Christmas cards they’ve been sent.
Then it’s into the familiar sketches and musical numbers. there’s the usual line up of special guest stars and highlights include: Leonard Rossiter as the third Andrews Sister in a “Fabulous Forties” segment; and a spoof This Is Your Life with the Royal Family opening the show. The then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson makes a surprise appearance and in one sequence he manages to upset Eric by joking about his beloved Luton Town Football Club; Disappearing to the back of the flat, Eric returns with a Maggie Rules O.K. banner.
there’s a cameo appearance from writers Barry Cryer and John Junkin (Eddie Braben was still under contract to the BBC at the time) and instead of the familiar ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ there’s a song and dance routine to close the show.
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise
Guest Stars Include
Harold Wilson MP
Written By: Barry Cryer and John Junkin
Original Transmission Date: December 25th 1978
Where To Watch
Apart from here courtesy of You Tube, a DVD containing all Morecambe and Wise’s ITV Christmas specials is available from the usual sources, sadly at the time of posting not available on streaming services.
We would like to thank all our readers for checking us out and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!