The End Of An Era

Eric And Ernie’s Christmas Show, 1983

40 years ago today Eric and Ernie made their final TV appearance together, in one of their must see Christmas Shows!

Although we didn’t know it at the time this would be Eric and Ernie’s final TV show together as Eric Morecambe’s health took a turn for the worse in 1984 resulting in his death.

Entitled Eric and Ernie’s Christmas Show and broadcast on Boxing Day 1983, as the duo were now at Thames who didn’t hold the broadcast franchise for Christmas Day.


Eric and Ernie presented their usual mix of song, dance and sketches for Christmas.

The show would feature some rehashed material from earlier BBC shows despite input from writer Eddie Braben. The most notable reused ideas were the Harpenden Hot-Shots and the final play “What Ern Wrote” was entitled The Planter’s Wife and featured Nanette Newman in the titular role. This sketch was set in Malaysia with the musical ending performed by puppets.

A sketch that had aired originally in the 1976 seasonal show that featured Elton John (“sounds like an exit on the motorway…”) was thinly reworked here with Peter Skellern in the Elton John role.

A song-and-dance number of ‘Swinging Down The Lane’ remade from their ATV days closes the show, but there’s no signature tune to be heard.

Following the end of the show, Thames continuity announcer Philip Elsmore appears to introduce the next programme which is to feature Des O’Connor, the duo appear behind Elsmore to make derogatory remarks about the star in what had been a long-standing in-joke.



Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise

Guest Stars

Gemma Craven, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Jacobi, Fulton Mackay, Nanette Newman, Peter Skellern, Patrick Mower, Burt Kwouk, Tony Monopoly, Phillip Elsmore, Frank Coda


Channel: ITV
Written By: Eddie Braben
Produced By: Thames Television for ITV
Originally Transmitted: 26th December 1983