Sunday, 9 January 2011


Morecambe and Wise weren't just a comedy team, they were an integral part of British popular culture. This BBC film drama traces their rise from child performers in the pre-War years, through their near disastrous television debut series to their return to the variety circuits and the rebuilding of their reputations. To say that his film is good is not to do it justice. It was as near perfect as a television film can be. Based on an idea by comedienne and actress Victoria Wood (who also co-produced and played Eric's mother) the film is written by Peter Bowker and directed by Jonny Campbell. The hardest task, of course, was to convince the viewer that they were watching Eric and Ernie but this was achieved spectacularly by the performances of Daniel Rigby and Bryan Dick who not only looked spookily like the comedians but captured the voices and gestures - every little nuance in fact - of the team. Victoria Wood was as excellent as we have come to expect as Eric's pushy mum and there has been a justified heap of praise for comedian Vic Reeves as his dad. Like the previous TV drama THE ROAD TO CORONATION STREET this is a valuable exploration of a much loved British entertainment phenomenon. Rating *****

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