Today: June 21, 2024

Morecambe And Wise At…

You know that Morecambe and Wise are still the business when the new Venom movie parades their breakfast Stripper routine… But, while some overseas viewers might be oblivious to the inspiration behind the Let There Be Carnage trailer, if you’re a Brit, there’s probably so much Morecambe and Wise in your DNA, that you got the reference instantly. Luckily, if that little homage has given you the urge to go back and rewatch some of those comedy classics, then Network’s have you covered.

This festive season offers up not one but three releases that are absolutely essential purchases: Morecambe And Wise At ITV, Morecambe And Wise At Thames, and Morecambe And Wise: Xmas At ITV. Taken together, these are sure to take the stress out of choosing something family-friendly to watch this festive season.

Undoubtedly the best-loved double-act that Britain has ever produced, Morecambe and Wise first came to prominence in the mid 1960s with Two Of A Kind, their hit comedy series for ATV. Showcasing their mildly anarchic humour, impeccable sense of timing, and keen eye for the absurd, its success propelled Morecambe and Wise towards television superstardom. 

By the late 1970s Morecambe and Wise were in residence at Thames Television, where their festive specials became as much a part of Christmas as turkey, tinsel, and terrible pop songs. 

Network’s new releases include all 48 editions of ATV’s Two of a Kind (plus a wealth of special features from that era), all 26 editions and seven specials of Thames Television’s The Morecambe And Wise Show, their 1961 Royal Variety Performance, an early appearance Val Parnell’s 1957 Saturday Spectacular, and all six Christmas Specials made for Thames Television—half of them unseen since their original transmission.

 

The Morecambe And Wise Show wasn’t just popular, it was essential viewing—and the duo’s fast-moving skits and musical parodies have lost none of their warmth and humour over the decades. What’s more, each episode is a perfect period time-capsule, with much-loved guest stars such as Hannah Gordon, Dave Prowse, Donald Sinden, Judi Dench, Leonard Rossiter and Alec Guinness.

Morecambe And Wise: Xmas At ITV (2 discs) is out now. Morecambe And Wise At ITV (14 discs) and Morecambe And Wise At Thames (6 discs) are released on 29th November. 

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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