Two Of A Kind, 1961
After coming together in the 1940’s, Morecambe and Wise made their 1950’s television breakthrough with a show called Running Wild. Not well received, they would continue playing live whilst making regular television appearances on the Winifred Atwell show. It was in 1961 that Lew Grade offered them their own series for ATV on the ITV network.
The duo accepted on the condition they could obtain the services of the writing team of Dick Hills and Sid Green. This series was initially billed as Sir Bernard Delfont Presents Morecambe & Wise. From series 2 the show would become Two Of A Kind. The show ran for five series between 1961 and 1968.
A sixth series was planned, but in 1968. It had always been planned to air the series in both Britain and America. However whilst the series faired well in Canada it failed to capture the American audience the duo had hoped for.
contract negotiations with Lew Grade began tosecure the duo at ATV fr another three years. However both Eric and Ernie wanted to persue the new medium of colour and ATV were not in a position to offer it. So despite a generous financial package the duo packed their bags and headed off to the BBC in colour.
Early episodes in series one did not fare well. The writers focused on the duo as alter egos of themselves, rather than echo the success of their stage show. This was remedied for the second series that echoed their successful stage act, resulting in the series becoming a success.
The show would comprise a mixture of musical numbers and sketches. Many of their famous catchphrases started life in Two Of A kind including “more tea Ern ?”
Even writers Sid Green and Dick Hill got in on the act making cameo appearances as ‘two all purpose stooges’ Sid and Dick.
Eric Morecmbe and Ernie Wise
Written By: Dick Hills and Sid Green
Produced By: ATV for the ITV network
Original Run: 1961 – 1968
Think Morecambe and Wise and you immediately think of all those classic BBC shows, Christmas Specials and of course the later ITV Series. However way back in the day their first show in their own right was Two Of A Kind.
What Does someone who watched it when it first appeared on TV make of it now ?
What can you say about Morecambe and Wise? Although not quite up to the standard of their later shows this collection is pure nostalgia. A great blend of humour mixed with just about every Trad Jazz Band of the day and many pop stars.