Eric, Ernie and Me


Eric, Ernie and Me

For a decade, Eddie Braben penned Morecambe and Wise's material, reshaping the double act into the Eric and Ernie that the nation took to its heart. But it wasn't all sunshine.


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Transcript


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SIRENS

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He's not going to sell much ice cream going at that speed, is he?

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LAUGHTER ON TV

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PIANO INSTRUMENTAL: Bring Me Sunshine

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DOORBELL

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You're a pair of bloody fools.

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We are.

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He sits in that garden smoking and drinking

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like nothing's happened.

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He had a bloody heart attack, Ern.

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-I know, I was there.

-And as for you, no visitors.

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Didn't I tell you? No visitors?

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You did. Quite forcefully.

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Whatever this little problem is, don't you be getting him flustered.

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-No flustering. OK.

-Go on, then.

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Welcome to Colditz.

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Come on then, son.

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You're supposed to have a terrible moral quandary

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that only I can solve.

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I'm not much of an actor.

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I've noticed.

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Don't worry, Ern, I'll sort you out.

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SHOUTING: Oh, Ern, how could you?

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The milkman's wife?

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That cart's electric. You'll never outrun it with those little legs.

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So, what news from the front?

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They think we're finished.

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Well, you've been working.

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That's why they think we're finished.

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What about the BBC?

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They offered me Basil Brush.

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Christ.

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And our writers have gone.

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May I have Basil's number?

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Your writers have gone.

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Good. We can do better.

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Eric's talking about retirement.

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His WIFE is talking about retirement.

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Ern has been offered Basil Brush.

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Christ.

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Look, John, you know I love the boys,

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but the first series was rough around the edges,

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and I can hardly offer a second

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when you don't even have a show to give me.

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Look, Bill, no-one's retiring and

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no-one's sticking their hand up a bloody fox.

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All I need is someone who can work out who the boys are on television.

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And knock the music hall out of them.

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I did hear something interesting.

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Go on.

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Kenneth Dodd and Eddie.

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Kaput.

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He'd never do it.

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Why not?

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Because better men than you and I

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have tried to get Eddie Braben to leave Liverpool.

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TELEPHONE RINGS

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West Derby, 399.

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Eddie! Bill Cotton from the BBC.

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Bill! Eddie Braben from the Dingle.

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I'm with John Ammonds -

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Morecambe and Wise's producer.

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That's nice. Stops you getting lonely.

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Eddie, I need a new writer for the boys.

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Sorry, lads.

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Not for me.

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Why not, Eddie?

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Because they're rubbish.

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Well, then Eddie, you'd better do something about that, hadn't you?

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It was the BBC.

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They want me to go to London to meet Morecambe and Wise.

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At least they're northern.

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There's the poster.

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"At least they're northern."

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Come on, love. I've turned down better jobs than that.

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That was when you HAD a job.

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Told you. I'm going to be Liverpool's inside right.

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You did. But seeing as we have a mortgage to pay

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and you get out of breath going up the stairs,

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maybe we should risk a backup plan.

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We can still afford a modicum of integrity.

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Just can't sell my soul, that's all.

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SHE LAUGHS

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And that's what the BBC are asking for, is it?

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Your soul?

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-UPSTAIRS:

-Mum! She pinched me!

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No.

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They want me to go down there for a cup of tea.

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But that's how they get you.

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Cups of tea.

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Well, not me, they don't.

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Mum, come here!

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She's not coming because she doesn't care.

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Tell you something, Eddie.

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We could never follow Doddie.

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Oh, no, never.

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-So.

-Well, why don't we start by finding some common ground?

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I'll be honest with you, boys, your act just isn't for me.

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Not by a country mile.

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Yes, that's not exactly what I was hoping for.

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-I think what Eddie's trying to say...

-No, no, let him speak.

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-Eddie's a pro.

-We'll take it from a pro.

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Well, you just go out there and you parrot it out, one after another.

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But you're meant to be a double act.

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Where are the characters?

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Where's the relationship?

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Where's the conversation?

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I watch you and I just don't buy it.

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Sorry, boys.

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Well, that's that, then.

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Gentlemen, perhaps we should seek more conviving surroundings.

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Glasgow Empire.

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-Total silence.

-After all our four sets.

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The manager says, "Can you come back? I think they like you."

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I said, "How do you think that?"

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"They haven't thrown anything."

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Nottingham Goose Fair?

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Not a honk all night.

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Starting at the bar, going right through the room,

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the biggest roar you've ever heard.

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-We milk every moment.

-The club secretary takes the microphone

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and says, "Ladies and gentlemen, as you probably guessed..."

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"..the pies have arrived." Pies!

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Pies!

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Tell me, boys,

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why isn't THIS your act?

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-What?

-Why isn't what our act?

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This.

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Right. Why don't I buy you for a week

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and you knock out some bits for the boys?

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We won't stop a Northerner getting work.

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Here you go, sir.

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British Rail's finest.

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Thanks, pal.

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TYPEWRITER KEYS CLICK-CLACK

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Thanks, love.

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So you like them now?

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Who, them? Morecambe and Wise?

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I wouldn't cross Stanley Park to see them.

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Eric and Ernie, though.

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If I can turn THEM into Eric and Ernie...

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..then we might have a shot.

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You're enjoying it.

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I'm doing no such thing.

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Here you go.

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No.

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-Sorry, Eddie.

-It just...

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It doesn't sound like us.

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That was the general idea.

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Boys, I've known you since 1954,

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when you couldn't get booked south of Macclesfield.

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And since 1954, THIS is what you've been waiting for.

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This is the show.

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Look, why don't we just knock out the first show for now?

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Take it from there. Hmm?

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Dalgarno Way.

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Tomorrow morning, ten o'clock.

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Listen for the birdsong.

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CHOIR SINGS: Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit-Bag

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I'm following you, kid.

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-You've still got it!

-Thanks very much!

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-Eddie!

-Morning.

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Community singing. Monday and Thursday mornings.

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We go up there sometimes.

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-It's like Beatlemania.

-Oh, they put their mittens all over us.

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Right, then, chaps.

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Shall we give it a crack?

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I always take my wife morning tea in my pyjamas.

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-Is she grateful?

-No.

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She said she'd rather have it in a cup.

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There's no pleasing her.

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You're telling me.

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I bought her a nice bottle of wine for our anniversary.

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-She said it was plonk.

-Wasn't it?

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I don't know, it was an '83.

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An '83 what?

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83 bottles for 15 and 9.

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Give us your brass, son, we'll make it gold.

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Eric, he's your pal, isn't he?

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Tell HIM the story.

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Forget about the audience.

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If Ern laughs, they'll laugh.

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-That's interesting.

-And don't wait for each other.

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Who does that? Talk over each other. Make it a conversation.

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Well, it's food for thought.

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You're talking to that bloke there.

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You're not trying to hit the back wall of the Glasgow Empire.

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Well, John, we gave it a go.

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Just lose the performance is what I'm saying.

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Because if we lose that, then we get to you two, you see -

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and there's a magic between you two.

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I didn't see it before, but I do now.

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And if we can show that magic to the world, and if he stays upright...

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..well, then, I don't see what can stop you lads.

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I don't see what can stop you.

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So...

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..let's see you butcher another one, shall we?

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Ladies and gentlemen, a very emotional night for me to be here,

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back in Shepherd's Bush. I met my dear wife in Shepherd's Bush.

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I thought she was back home with the kids.

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CHUCKLING Oh, bless you. Move about a bit.

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Now, I'd rather ponder the great philosophies of life,

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such as why is there only one word for thesaurus?

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-Poor Barry.

-You couldn't warm that one up

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with a flame-thrower.

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I don't understand it. They're supposed to be fans.

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They ARE fans. That's the problem.

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I'm scared they think I'm going to go out there and keel over.

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If we don't have that lot to play off, we might as well pack up now.

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-Change the first line.

-What?

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Come on, Eddie, that's the cue.

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It's time to introduce a couple of gentlemen

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who I'd hazard a guess you've come to see.

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Change the first line.

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Please welcome Mr Eric Morecambe and Mr Ernie Wise!

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Knock them dead, boys.

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Hey!

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Oh, thank you.

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Keep going, you fool!

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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

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Good evening, and welcome to the show.

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And have we got a show for you tonight!

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Ern, have we got a show for them tonight? LAUGHTER

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Oh, Eddie.

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We've decided to endure your rubbish for another show.

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See you Monday.

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-Need a lift, Eddie?

-Taxi coming,

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thanks, Ern, then the sleeper back to civilisation.

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-Oh, night, Eddie.

-Night.

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Well done. It was a smash.

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No, it wasn't.

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It was OK.

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And it'll only ever be OK until you

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take the laughs your talent deserves.

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There's nothing wrong with being a straight man, Eddie.

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Bud Abbott, Stan Laurel.

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I'll take their company any day.

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Yeah, but even straight men need character.

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Half the time, you're stood there going,

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"What did you do then?" or, "What did you say to that?"

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Eddie, I get 10% of the laughs

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and 50% of the money.

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I'm happy with that. I don't need...

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Come on, Ernie!

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Safe journey, Eddie.

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Do it.

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-ERIC AND ERNIE:

-What have you got there?

-Where?

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-There.

-Oh, this.

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-Yes, that.

-Oh, this is...

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This is...

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What have you got there?

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DOOR OPENS

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Go on, then.

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Come here.

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Sorry.

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We're going to the game. And you're going to give

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a passable impression of not thinking about work.

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I'm trying to find Ernie.

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Well, you'll as soon as find him out there as in here.

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And after the game, would we be going up St John's for chips?

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Yeah!

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Well, why didn't you say?!

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Come on.

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Look.

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My stall always had a queue outside.

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That's because you were busy writing jokes on paper bags.

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-They weren't worth the bags.

-I know.

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I used to read them!

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Oh, look who it is!

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Our prodigal son returns.

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-Hi, Patsy.

-To think our humble market

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could produce such a giant of literature.

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Oh, that's me, Patsy.

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The Shakespeare of the Dingle.

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Can we get a hot chocolate?

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-Have you seen those?

-What have you got there?

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-Where?

-There.

-Oh, this.

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-Yes, that.

-Oh, this is the play what I have wrote.

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Oh, another masterpiece?

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-Naturally!

-Come on, then.

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ERNIE CLEARS HIS THROAT

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Tony kisses Lady Angela's hand and says,

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"I came as soon as I got the letter what you have wrote me."

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Trash. Absolute trash.

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Tony can contain himself no longer.

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He whips out his pencil and paper and draws her on the settee.

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Refunds on the way out, folks.

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"I've never felt such a sensation," says Lady Angela.

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"What could it be?"

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"You fool," retorts Tony, "you're sitting on the cat."

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Eric holds out his hand.

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Ernie hands him his jotter.

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Eric hits him with it,

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then hands it back.

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Ernie exits, head bowed.

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Yes, it's not quite right, is it?

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-No.

-No.

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No.

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Now HE'S funny and I'm not.

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Well, maybe we need to people the scene.

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When my brother used to think he could sing,

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we used to invite everyone round the house to take the mickey.

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You know, friends, neighbours.

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-Neighbours?

-To take the mickey?

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-That's not allowed.

-Only family can make fun of family.

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Bloody northerners, you're so sentimental.

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-That's it.

-YOU can knock him...

-But no-one else!

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Where from, Eddie?

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-This is the play.

-"This is the play what I have wrote."

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-Another masterpiece.

-Naturally.

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Oh, come on, then.

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Tony kisses Lady Angela's hand and says,

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"I came as soon as I got the letter what you have wrote me."

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No, no, show some respect.

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This is dynamite, Ern! Dynamite!

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Tony can contain himself no longer.

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He whips out his pencil and paper and draws her on the settee.

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Oh, you're flying now, Ern!

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"I've never felt such a sensation," says Lady Angela.

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"What could it be?" "You fool," retorts Tony,

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"you're sitting on the cat!"

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Ern, you are truly the Leonardo da Vinci and of the Biro.

0:18:220:18:27

Thank you, Eric!

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This is my dream, that one day I

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would become part of the national heritage.

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-Hermitage.

-Hermitage!

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-Ernie exits.

-With head held high.

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That's it.

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THAT'S who we are.

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I did have one other idea, boys.

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No chance.

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It doesn't look right, Eddie.

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The closer together you are, the funnier you are.

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-That's all Eddie's saying.

-This just makes it more intimate.

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Well, not intimate.

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-No.

-It just feels a bit, you know...

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-Odd.

-Oh, come on, boys. We can always cut it.

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Of course.

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It was good enough for Laurel and Hardy.

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Maybe if I had my pipe.

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Hey.

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OK, Maureen, if we just get two ready.

0:19:340:19:37

Stay on four. Terry, you ready?

0:19:370:19:39

Haven't you got a book?

0:19:430:19:45

Nope. I've given up on literature.

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It's rubbish.

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All of it? What about Shakespeare?

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He's the worst. It's just people falling off castles.

0:19:500:19:54

You must like the Scottish play.

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Oh, yes.

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Brigadoon, classic.

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How about Dickens?

0:20:010:20:02

-Have you tried Bleak House?

-I might as well.

0:20:020:20:04

It can't be any bleaker than this.

0:20:040:20:06

Oh, come on, Eric, you know Dickens.

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You told me you had Great Expectations.

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Well, she couldn't come - washing her hair.

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STUDIO AUDIENCE LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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Well done, boys.

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I thought that came quite close to being almost not bad.

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Eric! It was bloody marvellous, Eddie.

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Very funny.

0:20:240:20:25

Edwin, I'm increasingly concerned that you may be a genius.

0:20:250:20:28

Oh, no, I'm just another fruit and veg man with a dream.

0:20:280:20:32

Gentlemen, gentlemen,

0:20:320:20:33

we are witnessing the beginning of something truly remarkable.

0:20:330:20:38

Who are you, sir?

0:20:410:20:42

Eddie.

0:20:470:20:49

Going for your sleeper?

0:20:490:20:51

I only get it for the food.

0:20:510:20:52

Well, you'd better get used to it.

0:20:520:20:54

The boys want you to stay on board for the series.

0:20:540:20:57

-Congratulations.

-Oh, right, that's, um...

0:20:570:20:59

Yeah...

0:20:590:21:02

Thanks, John.

0:21:020:21:03

-Yeah, I'm made up.

-And you should be.

0:21:030:21:05

-Who else are you bringing in?

-No-one. You're sole writer.

0:21:050:21:09

You've got the keys to the kingdom, Eddie.

0:21:090:21:11

I can't do seven shows on me own.

0:21:110:21:13

Eight.

0:21:140:21:15

What I want is a Christmas show that isn't just a chance to mop up the

0:21:190:21:22

leftovers, but a proper special.

0:21:220:21:25

Someone we can really get behind.

0:21:250:21:27

Bill's giving us a full budget AND coughing up the guest stars.

0:21:270:21:30

-Oh, very good.

-Sounds terrific.

0:21:300:21:32

When are we doing this, then?

0:21:320:21:34

-Oh, we'll squeeze it in.

-We've even got your first guest.

0:21:340:21:36

-Mr Andre Previn.

-Oh, we'll have that!

0:21:360:21:39

-Half-hour?

-Hour.

0:21:390:21:40

-Christ.

-Oh, come on, Eddie.

0:21:400:21:43

Andre Previn. You'll have some fun with that.

0:21:430:21:45

Now, there is a slight issue with Previn.

0:21:450:21:49

Yeah. The peccadillo.

0:21:490:21:51

-No rehearsal.

-Unheard of.

0:21:550:21:57

Oh, come on, boys. Belter of a script.

0:21:570:22:00

Has he even read it?

0:22:000:22:01

Well, he said he'd read it on the plane.

0:22:010:22:03

I'm surprised he didn't jump out.

0:22:030:22:04

Boys, boys, what an honour!

0:22:040:22:07

What fun! I can't wait!

0:22:070:22:09

Mr Previn. Have you read the script?

0:22:090:22:11

I LOVE the script.

0:22:110:22:12

Love it!

0:22:120:22:14

-He hasn't read it.

-ALL: No.

0:22:140:22:16

PA: Ladies and gentlemen, we're just two minutes away

0:22:190:22:22

from our live recording. In a moment,

0:22:220:22:23

I'll announce the start of the show.

0:22:230:22:25

If you can respond

0:22:270:22:28

with a loud burst of applause, that would be terrific.

0:22:280:22:30

We'll introduce Morecambe and Wise and then we'll be away.

0:22:300:22:35

We may have to...

0:22:350:22:36

APPLAUSE

0:22:440:22:48

Mr Previn!

0:22:550:22:56

-Privet.

-Preview.

0:22:560:22:58

I can assure you that Eric is more than capable.

0:22:580:23:00

Would you jump up in the air?

0:23:000:23:03

Well, I was just thinking...

0:23:030:23:05

..I hope you don't mind me saying.

0:23:050:23:07

-..It's with him and him.

-Are you satisfied, Mr Preview?

0:23:070:23:10

..I'm playing all the right notes,

0:23:100:23:13

but not necessarily in the right order.

0:23:130:23:16

LAUGHTER

0:23:160:23:17

Oh, this changes everything, Eddie.

0:23:240:23:26

We'll never get enough of them now.

0:23:260:23:28

Oh, we'll never beat that.

0:23:280:23:30

Well, then, Eric, good night.

0:23:340:23:36

Think so? I thought it was rubbish.

0:23:360:23:38

Ernie puts on his nightcap while Eric turns out the light.

0:23:400:23:45

It's a bit flat.

0:23:460:23:48

Maybe we could get Eric out of the bed for some business at the window.

0:23:490:23:53

Let's, um, let's keep going, shall we?

0:23:570:24:00

-The hotel booking.

-All right, yes.

0:24:000:24:03

Ernie is the reception clerk.

0:24:030:24:06

Eric enters wearing outdoor clothing.

0:24:060:24:08

Good evening, sir. I wonder if you could help me.

0:24:080:24:11

TELEPHONE RINGS

0:24:110:24:14

Eddie. Top work yesterday, old boy, top work.

0:24:140:24:17

Listen, before you come back down for the dress,

0:24:170:24:21

the boys feel we could do with starting again on some of them.

0:24:210:24:25

-The bedroom sketch.

-Mm-hmm.

0:24:250:24:28

-And others.

-OK.

0:24:280:24:30

Bear with me.

0:24:300:24:33

OK, Eddie. You might want to get a pen.

0:24:330:24:37

Come on, then.

0:25:020:25:04

Come on.

0:25:040:25:06

Hey, wait.

0:25:060:25:07

Bye, then.

0:25:070:25:10

See you.

0:25:100:25:11

TV CRACKLES

0:26:200:26:23

-Never been done.

-Think colloquialism.

0:26:230:26:25

Oh, no, this is ridiculous, we've seen ventriloquists before.

0:26:270:26:32

Oh, no, this is ridiculous, we've seen ventriloquists before.

0:26:400:26:44

STUDIO AUDIENCE LAUGHTER

0:26:440:26:46

His mother was a pole. His mother was a pole!

0:26:540:26:57

-There you go.

-Merci beaucoup.

0:27:050:27:07

-Johnny.

-Yep.

0:27:070:27:08

Oh, I know about art, Eric.

0:27:150:27:18

-Oh, no, you don't.

-Oh, yes. My auntie's got a Whistler.

0:27:180:27:21

Oh, what does it play?

0:27:210:27:24

-Again.

-My auntie's got a Whistler.

0:27:240:27:27

Does she charge to see it?

0:27:270:27:28

Again.

0:27:310:27:33

My auntie's got a Whistler.

0:27:330:27:35

-Is it still in tune?

-Again.

0:27:350:27:38

My auntie's got a Whistler.

0:27:380:27:40

Now, THERE'S a novelty.

0:27:400:27:41

Now, THERE'S a novelty.

0:27:410:27:42

LAUGHTER

0:27:420:27:44

TELEPHONE RINGS

0:27:590:28:01

-John.

-The boys feel, and it really

0:28:010:28:05

isn't a biggie - well, I mean, it's a...it's a medium size.

0:28:050:28:09

Mr Memory, who won the FA Cup in 1950?

0:28:090:28:13

19 hundred and 50?

0:28:150:28:18

It starts with an A.

0:28:180:28:20

-COUGHING:

-Arsenal.

0:28:210:28:24

The boys feel and, believe me, Eddie,

0:28:340:28:37

I dislike these little chats as much as you do.

0:28:370:28:40

I've extended my repertoire.

0:28:430:28:45

I've extended my repertoire.

0:28:460:28:47

I've extended my repertoire.

0:28:480:28:50

Well, it doesn't show from back here.

0:28:500:28:52

Doesn't show from back here.

0:28:520:28:54

LAUGHTER

0:28:540:28:56

-John.

-The boys feel...

0:29:010:29:03

-PHONE RINGS

-We are close on this, we're ever so close.

0:29:100:29:13

The boys feel...

0:29:140:29:16

I'm afraid we're back to square one.

0:29:190:29:21

The boys feel... The boys feel...

0:29:260:29:28

THE RHYTHMS OF EDDIE'S LIFE CRASH

0:29:280:29:31

PIERCING HIGH TONE

0:29:310:29:32

SILENCE

0:29:350:29:37

Ow!

0:29:390:29:41

See? Told you you had a dad.

0:29:410:29:43

Didn't believe me, did you?

0:29:430:29:45

You OK, love?

0:29:490:29:51

Nervous exhaustion.

0:30:090:30:10

-Poor bloke.

-He'll have all the time he needs.

0:30:100:30:13

-And we pay to have it.

-Absolutely.

0:30:130:30:16

The worst job in the world, that.

0:30:170:30:19

Blank sheet of paper.

0:30:190:30:21

All right, so, what is the plan?

0:30:250:30:29

Well, he's already written half the Christmas show.

0:30:290:30:31

Cryer and Junkin...fill in the gaps.

0:30:310:30:34

Eddie's back next year for the series.

0:30:340:30:37

Hopefully.

0:30:370:30:38

If he doesn't, then we're finished.

0:30:390:30:41

-It was funny.

-Not as funny as last year.

0:31:180:31:21

You didn't watch it.

0:31:210:31:23

I counted the laughs.

0:31:230:31:25

I could've sworn they said, "Total rest."

0:31:310:31:35

They're inside me, love.

0:31:350:31:37

Might as well get paid for it.

0:31:390:31:42

No. This doesn't mean you're ready.

0:31:420:31:45

This just means you're bored.

0:31:450:31:48

It won't be like before.

0:31:490:31:51

How do you know?

0:31:530:31:55

Because John promised me it won't.

0:31:570:32:00

So, it's all agreed, then?

0:32:050:32:07

It won't be like before.

0:32:070:32:09

CHOIR SINGS: It's A Long Way To Tipperary

0:32:160:32:21

Nervous exhaustion!

0:32:300:32:31

That's what he says.

0:32:310:32:32

-That's two things.

-It is.

-He should make up his mind.

0:32:320:32:35

-He can't.

-Why not?

-He's lost it.

0:32:350:32:36

That's three things!

0:32:360:32:37

-Hey-hey!

-Have you got the script, old boy?

0:32:390:32:41

Have you got the scrolls?

0:32:450:32:46

No, I always walk like this.

0:32:460:32:48

That's the one. OK, everyone,

0:32:500:32:52

I will see you at the dress.

0:32:520:32:54

-Thank you, Vanessa.

-Yeah, such a pleasure.

0:32:540:32:56

Mind how you go.

0:32:560:32:58

-HORN BEEPS

-That's me. Thanks, boys.

0:32:580:33:00

Safe home.

0:33:000:33:02

Oi, Redgrave, what kind of socialist has a chauffeur?

0:33:020:33:05

A busy one.

0:33:050:33:08

I like her. She's good.

0:33:080:33:10

Night, boys. See you at the dress.

0:33:100:33:12

Night, Eddie.

0:33:120:33:14

-Evening, gentlemen.

-John.

0:33:150:33:18

Just a few thoughts for Eddie.

0:33:180:33:21

Not like before.

0:33:210:33:23

Verity. Can you give us a minute, please, love?

0:33:380:33:41

Don't bloody move.

0:33:410:33:43

Well, then, boys, the time has come.

0:33:470:33:49

Let's get a few extra writers, eh?

0:33:490:33:51

Take the pressure off Eddie a bit.

0:33:510:33:53

-You haven't called him.

-It's a slippery slope, Eric.

0:33:530:33:56

It's not rewrites, John. Not like before.

0:33:560:33:58

No, it's just having him look at every single bloody line.

0:33:580:34:02

Because when he does, he always finds an extra joke.

0:34:020:34:04

But what does he have to go through to find it, Eric?

0:34:040:34:08

Look, you're going to send him bloody cuckoo again, boys.

0:34:080:34:10

All I'm suggesting...

0:34:100:34:12

The People. "Definition of the week.

0:34:120:34:14

"Television. The box in which they buried Morecambe and Wise."

0:34:140:34:17

Oh, for God's sake, Eric, that wasn't even our show.

0:34:170:34:19

The Daily Sketch. "A flop of a show.

0:34:190:34:21

"The gags were weak and the sketches corny."

0:34:210:34:23

Daily Herald. "Why on earth millions

0:34:230:34:25

"of viewers have to be given this stuff, I just don't know."

0:34:250:34:28

Before Eddie, we were a belter of a live act and a bloody disaster doing

0:34:290:34:33

-anything else.

-America...

0:34:330:34:35

That's different. We took 30 years

0:34:350:34:37

to make it and God knows I don't have 30 left.

0:34:370:34:39

That's why we work like we do, John,

0:34:390:34:40

and that's why we ask everyone else to do the same.

0:34:400:34:42

And if there's one more gag there,

0:34:420:34:44

then Eddie Braben'll find it cos he's the best in the bloody game.

0:34:440:34:46

That's why he's our man, no-one else.

0:34:460:34:48

-You can't just turn it on like a tap.

-He'll be all right.

0:34:480:34:50

All right?! You're going to bloody kill him.

0:34:500:34:52

I think that's somewhat dramatic, John.

0:34:520:34:54

I'll give you dramatic, Eric.

0:34:540:34:55

-Get extra writers or get a new producer.

-Hang on, John.

0:34:550:34:57

I'll tell you what, John, why don't YOU think on that.

0:34:570:35:00

Verity!

0:35:000:35:01

-Who wants this?

-Me!

0:35:120:35:14

-Me.

-Right, here we go.

0:35:140:35:16

It's from the BBC.

0:35:160:35:17

It must be the bonus!

0:35:170:35:19

# Life is just a bowl of cherries

0:35:230:35:29

# Don't make it serious

0:35:290:35:32

# Life's too mysterious... #

0:35:320:35:34

What's this?

0:35:370:35:39

Morecambe and Wise, the nation's favourites without scripts?

0:35:390:35:43

We can't have that!

0:35:430:35:45

Thanks, Eddie. We appreciate you having another look.

0:35:450:35:47

-Oh, absolutely.

-My pleasure.

0:35:470:35:49

There you go. There's a few gaps for you to fill in.

0:35:490:35:52

-No problem.

-That's the fun part.

0:35:520:35:54

Good luck with the show, boys.

0:35:540:35:55

I know I'LL be tuning in.

0:35:560:35:58

# ..to you were just loaned

0:35:580:36:01

# So how can you lose what you've never owned?

0:36:010:36:05

# Life is just a bowl of cherries... #

0:36:050:36:08

-You're under contract.

-Then, put me on another show.

0:36:080:36:12

Oh, come on, Eddie!

0:36:120:36:14

We just need a new producer to stick between you and the boys

0:36:140:36:16

and smooth this kind of thing over.

0:36:160:36:18

And I've got someone I think you'll like. Ernest Maxim.

0:36:180:36:21

He's very good, by all accounts.

0:36:210:36:23

Now you just need a writer.

0:36:230:36:26

What time is your train?

0:36:280:36:30

Boys, my boys!

0:36:390:36:41

You know Ernest Maxim.

0:36:410:36:43

Now, he's got an idea I think you'll rather like.

0:36:430:36:47

Boys, you're only using half the studio.

0:36:470:36:49

-Well, that's the way we like it.

-Yes, it keeps it intimate.

0:36:490:36:53

That's fine, you can use the tabs

0:36:530:36:55

and the stage for your curtain work and whatnot, but...

0:36:550:36:57

..where's the magic, boys?

0:36:570:36:59

Eh? You've got 10 million watching

0:36:590:37:01

and they laugh when you get on stage,

0:37:010:37:04

because you got Eddie Braben telling you what to say, so...

0:37:040:37:06

..so why not dazzle them on top of that?

0:37:060:37:09

Full orchestra. Chorus line.

0:37:110:37:14

10-, 15-minute musical numbers.

0:37:140:37:16

A little Hollywood, boys.

0:37:160:37:18

These new televisions send 25 frames a second, so...

0:37:180:37:22

..let's give them something to bloody send.

0:37:220:37:24

What do you think, Eddie? I'm afraid

0:37:250:37:28

it will mean less pages for you to write, and with the musical numbers,

0:37:280:37:32

the boys'll have less time to chip in on the script.

0:37:320:37:35

I suppose we could give it a go.

0:37:360:37:39

Boys?

0:37:390:37:40

Ernest?

0:37:420:37:44

That's everything I've ever wanted to do.

0:37:440:37:46

Terrific.

0:37:460:37:48

No.

0:37:480:37:50

Sorry, gentlemen. It's not us.

0:37:500:37:53

It's not what we do.

0:37:530:37:54

Gentlemen, could you give us a minute, please?

0:37:570:38:00

Right.

0:38:010:38:03

Couldn't do it, could you?

0:38:110:38:13

Couldn't do it.

0:38:140:38:16

It's not what we do, Ern.

0:38:160:38:19

Where've I heard that before, Eric?

0:38:190:38:22

Oh, what is it, Ern, what's wrong?

0:38:220:38:25

America.

0:38:250:38:28

America?

0:38:280:38:29

America.

0:38:300:38:32

Oh, America.

0:38:320:38:34

The Ed Sullivan Show.

0:38:340:38:36

Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and us.

0:38:360:38:40

I didn't like it, Ern.

0:38:400:38:41

I know you didn't, Eric. I know you didn't.

0:38:410:38:44

-But

-I

-liked it, didn't I, Eric?

0:38:440:38:46

-I

-liked it.

0:38:460:38:48

They didn't want us, Ernie. They wanted a version of us.

0:38:480:38:51

That's all anyone's ever wanted, Eric.

0:38:510:38:54

All we do is versions.

0:38:540:38:55

-All we are is versions.

-Can you say sidewalk instead of pavement?

0:38:550:38:59

Elevator instead of lift?

0:38:590:39:00

We didn't, though, did we?

0:39:000:39:02

No chance.

0:39:020:39:03

Would that've been so hard, Eric?

0:39:030:39:05

Say sidewalk instead of pavement?

0:39:050:39:07

And elevator instead of lift?

0:39:070:39:09

That've been such a great sufferance for you, Eric?

0:39:090:39:11

We don't change for anyone, Ern.

0:39:110:39:13

Yes, we bloody do!

0:39:130:39:15

1954, BBC Manchester. John asked you

0:39:150:39:18

if you could refine your accent a bit.

0:39:180:39:20

-You started talking like the Queen.

-That's different. That's elocution.

0:39:200:39:22

You had us wearing fedoras to look like Abbott and Costello.

0:39:220:39:25

-That's costume.

-You stopped us singing.

0:39:250:39:27

Then it was JUST singing. Then it was only singing as a joke.

0:39:270:39:29

I'm talking about the fundamentals, Ernie.

0:39:290:39:31

I never changed the fundamentals.

0:39:310:39:33

You changed your bloody name!

0:39:330:39:35

-Apart from that.

-You've changed the act 100 times, Eric.

0:39:350:39:38

100 times, when it suited you.

0:39:380:39:40

Just not in America, cos you didn't want to be there.

0:39:400:39:45

-I never...

-I want to do this, Eric.

0:39:450:39:47

I want the musicals and the magic and the Hollywood.

0:39:480:39:51

And I tell you, Eric, I tell you,

0:39:510:39:53

I'm doing it and you're not bloody stopping me.

0:39:530:39:55

Oh, oh, that's a hell of a show you'll have there.

0:39:550:39:57

Ernie Wise dancing on his own.

0:39:570:39:59

You'll have to pay them to come in.

0:39:590:40:01

Ern.

0:40:100:40:12

Ern.

0:40:130:40:15

I heard a story once.

0:40:180:40:20

..that after your heart attack...

0:40:210:40:24

..Ern went out...

0:40:240:40:27

..worked for six months on his own...

0:40:270:40:29

..and sent you half the fees.

0:40:300:40:32

He did.

0:40:360:40:38

He's a good lad, it's not about that.

0:40:380:40:40

I know it's not.

0:40:400:40:41

It's fear.

0:40:430:40:45

MUSIC: There Is Nothing Like A Dame

0:40:530:40:57

# We got sunlight on the sand We got moonlight on the sea

0:40:590:41:03

# We got mangos and bananas... #

0:41:030:41:05

MUSIC: Singing In The Rain

0:41:050:41:08

# I'm singing in the rain... #

0:41:110:41:14

MUSIC: In The Mood by Glenn Miller

0:41:140:41:18

Psst.

0:41:240:41:25

Don't let him frighten you.

0:41:270:41:29

But if Caesar finds out about us,

0:41:290:41:31

-I'll lose me pension and me gold watch.

-All men are fools.

0:41:310:41:35

And what makes them so is having beauty like what I have got.

0:41:350:41:38

It's glorious. It's just, it's glorious.

0:41:410:41:44

-Very good. Thank you, Glenda.

-Thank you, Eddie.

0:41:440:41:47

Yeah. Absolutely.

0:41:470:41:48

Right, so, on we go with...

0:41:480:41:51

I see that Angela Rippon's on your Christmas show, Mr Braben.

0:42:000:42:02

How the hell do you know that?

0:42:020:42:05

-MUSIC: The Stripper

-Walk down, that's it, lovely.

0:42:060:42:08

A bit of morning action.

0:42:080:42:10

Lovely. Right, Ern, get rid of the bread. Here we go. And...

0:42:110:42:15

Bread! In!

0:42:150:42:17

Bread! In!

0:42:170:42:20

Down! Eric to the cupboards...

0:42:200:42:22

Lovely, here we go.

0:42:220:42:24

And...cupboard, cupboard!

0:42:240:42:26

Cupboard, cupboard! Now, get ready with the eggs, here we go.

0:42:260:42:30

-Eggs over to...

-Ah, so this is it!

0:42:300:42:33

-The front line.

-Hello, Bill.

0:42:330:42:35

-Are you lost?

-Christ, what a bloody awful...

0:42:350:42:38

Glad to see the public's money is not being wasted.

0:42:380:42:41

Oh, yes, and we bring our own lunch.

0:42:410:42:43

Not today, you're not. We are celebrating.

0:42:430:42:47

15 million viewers.

0:42:470:42:49

I've never seen anything like it, boys.

0:42:490:42:51

You're getting a thousand letters a week.

0:42:510:42:54

And that's just from Des O'Connor!

0:42:540:42:56

Harold Wilson wants to come on.

0:42:560:42:58

-Get off!

-You'll have some fun there, Eddie.

0:42:580:43:00

-And we're trying to get Sinatra.

-Oh! That's the one.

0:43:000:43:03

-Hang on.

-Omnibus want to do a behind-the-scenes documentary.

0:43:030:43:06

And the Palace want a private performance.

0:43:060:43:08

-For the corgis?

-We won't perform for dogs.

-Never again.

0:43:080:43:12

No, for the whole Firm, boys.

0:43:120:43:14

-The whole Firm.

-Apparently,

0:43:140:43:15

Her Maj has moved Christmas lunch to watch the show.

0:43:150:43:18

Stop!

0:43:180:43:20

Can we just have a moment to enjoy

0:43:220:43:24

what we've done, before we start talking about the next thing?

0:43:240:43:28

I can't leave the house without people asking,

0:43:280:43:30

"Who's going to be on the Christmas show?" And it's only bloody March.

0:43:300:43:33

Is it? I better take my tree down.

0:43:330:43:35

I'm serious, Eric.

0:43:350:43:38

It's just a television show.

0:43:380:43:40

What's this constant need to make it bigger and bigger and bigger?

0:43:400:43:43

Why can't it just be what it was?

0:43:430:43:45

I write the jokes, you tell them, then we all go bloody home.

0:43:450:43:48

The Queen, the Prime Minister, documentaries.

0:43:480:43:52

That's not why we do this, is it?

0:43:520:43:55

I mean, it's just, it's madness is what it is.

0:43:550:43:58

It's total bloody madness.

0:43:580:44:01

I'm just saying it's out of control.

0:44:010:44:03

And we need to stop it or otherwise where does it...?

0:44:030:44:07

It's just a television show.

0:44:080:44:11

Eddie. It stopped being just a television show along time ago.

0:44:110:44:16

It doesn't belong to us any more, Eddie. It belongs to them out there.

0:44:160:44:20

It's not ours to stop.

0:44:200:44:22

I'm sorry, boys, I have to go home.

0:44:250:44:27

-Eddie.

-Eddie.

-No, no. Go to your hotel room.

0:44:270:44:30

I have to get on with the script. We're ten pages short,

0:44:300:44:32

we haven't got a flat sketch and

0:44:320:44:34

Christ knows what the opening's going to

0:44:340:44:36

be because nothing's jumping out.

0:44:360:44:38

I need to go home.

0:44:380:44:40

Good evening, and welcome to the show.

0:44:450:44:48

Come on.

0:44:590:45:01

Come on.

0:45:050:45:07

Come on. Come on.

0:45:100:45:12

Come on.

0:45:120:45:14

Come on.

0:45:140:45:17

Eddie?

0:45:230:45:24

-VOICES ECHO:

-Ladies and gentlemen...

0:45:240:45:26

..their mittens all over us.

0:45:260:45:27

Give us your brass, son, we'll make it gold...

0:45:270:45:30

It gives me the utmost...

0:45:300:45:32

CHAOTIC VOICES

0:45:320:45:35

PIERCING HIGH PITCH

0:45:420:45:45

EDDIE BREATHES HEAVILY

0:45:450:45:46

ERIC'S VOICE SKIPS: We'll never beat that.

0:45:480:45:50

15 million viewers...

0:45:510:45:54

LAUGHTER >

0:46:010:46:03

Finally!

0:46:080:46:10

Have you got the script, old boy?

0:46:100:46:12

Hey!

0:46:150:46:16

-Are you setting out, Patsy?

-What are you doing, Eddie?

0:46:260:46:29

-Sleepwalking?

-Can I help you set up?

0:46:290:46:33

Please, Patsy.

0:46:350:46:36

Of course you can, Eddie.

0:46:390:46:40

Course you can.

0:46:420:46:43

Eddie?

0:47:140:47:16

The doctor says he's worse than last time.

0:47:290:47:32

-I

-don't know. When he's ready.

0:47:340:47:36

IF he's ready.

0:47:360:47:38

CHOIR SINGS: By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

0:47:430:47:46

You're not going back there, Eddie.

0:48:150:48:18

You'll find something else, but you're not going back there.

0:48:180:48:22

Liverpool inside right?

0:48:240:48:25

-Don't be daft.

-I know.

0:48:250:48:28

I don't look good in shorts. The Kop would rip me to shreds.

0:48:280:48:31

Stop it, Eddie. Just stop.

0:48:310:48:34

Life can't always be a joke, not always.

0:48:340:48:36

I know, love.

0:48:380:48:40

Just trying to stay the right side of this.

0:48:420:48:44

Cos it's no fun being on the wrong side.

0:48:470:48:50

It's no fun at all.

0:48:520:48:53

-Cat burglar.

-No!

0:49:020:49:05

You're not working nights again.

0:49:080:49:10

-Astronaut!

-All that travelling?

0:49:130:49:16

You don't like crossing the Mersey.

0:49:160:49:19

Yeah, but suppose I got up there and I found alien life.

0:49:200:49:25

I could sell all me jokes again.

0:49:250:49:28

Well, I could sell anyone's jokes.

0:49:280:49:31

Doddie's. Chic Murray's. Tommy's.

0:49:310:49:35

-MIMICS TOMMY COOPER:

-She looked at my palm, she said,

0:49:350:49:38

"Your future looks black." I said, "Hang on a minute, love,

0:49:380:49:41

"I'm still wearing my gloves."

0:49:410:49:43

You'll find something else.

0:49:500:49:52

I hope you two have joined the Writers' Guild.

0:50:030:50:07

DOORBELL

0:50:110:50:13

Can I interest you in double glazing?

0:50:180:50:20

Eddie, we are doing one more Christmas show for the Beeb.

0:50:300:50:35

And then, well, between us...

0:50:350:50:38

Talking to ITV.

0:50:380:50:40

Aw, boys. They'll have you flogging carpets in the breaks.

0:50:410:50:45

It's a lot of money, Eddie.

0:50:450:50:47

And I haven't got long left to work.

0:50:470:50:50

Things aren't great. Ticker, you know.

0:50:500:50:54

I'm starting to think I won't make the Olympics.

0:50:540:50:57

This is it. The last Christmas.

0:50:570:51:00

The expectation, Eddie.

0:51:020:51:05

-It's too much.

-What the show means to people.

0:51:050:51:09

I know, boys.

0:51:100:51:12

That's the problem.

0:51:120:51:14

That's MY problem.

0:51:150:51:17

The thought of doing this without you, Eddie.

0:51:170:51:19

Oh, it's terrifying.

0:51:190:51:21

-So...

-Can we endure your rubbish for another show?

0:51:220:51:26

Please.

0:51:270:51:29

I'm sorry you came all this way.

0:51:360:51:38

PIANO INSTRUMENTAL: Bring Me Sunshine

0:51:440:51:48

PIANO ABRUPTLY STOPS

0:51:530:51:55

You know, on bad days,

0:51:580:52:01

I look out there and I watch people go to work and I think,

0:52:010:52:05

"That's the life."

0:52:050:52:07

Clock in, clock out, home for tea and a good night's sleep.

0:52:070:52:11

-Eddie.

-But on good days, I think, "Look at those poor buggers,

0:52:110:52:16

"off for another day at a job they didn't choose."

0:52:160:52:20

And then I imagine maybe one or two are thinking,

0:52:200:52:26

"At least Morecambe and Wise is on tonight."

0:52:260:52:29

Then I think that...

0:52:290:52:31

..maybe if we can give them a laugh at the end of the day...

0:52:310:52:35

..then we've made things a little bit better.

0:52:360:52:39

I'm just a fruit and veg man from

0:52:410:52:43

St John's market who wrote jokes on paper bags.

0:52:430:52:45

But what a thing to have done, love.

0:52:480:52:51

What a thing.

0:52:510:52:53

And now it needs an ending.

0:52:550:52:57

Then, write one.

0:53:020:53:04

MUSIC: Little Bitty Pretty One by Thurston Harris

0:53:080:53:13

I remember the first time you stuck your head out this window.

0:53:270:53:29

Blew your wig off.

0:53:290:53:31

Landed in that garden down there,

0:53:310:53:33

a little old lady came out and gave it a saucer of milk.

0:53:330:53:36

Oh.

0:53:390:53:41

Do we have to leave?

0:53:430:53:45

I told you.

0:53:450:53:47

We have to leave, we have to progress.

0:53:470:53:50

Tell you what.

0:53:510:53:52

We've had a few laughs in this place, haven't we?

0:53:530:53:56

We certainly have.

0:53:560:53:58

"Car beeps."

0:53:580:54:00

Right, that's it, Eric.

0:54:000:54:02

The car's here.

0:54:020:54:04

Time to go.

0:54:040:54:06

Well, that's it, Eric.

0:54:110:54:14

The car's here.

0:54:140:54:16

Time to go.

0:54:160:54:18

Eric?

0:54:230:54:24

Oh, Braben.

0:54:380:54:40

You...bugger.

0:54:420:54:45

Right.

0:54:510:54:52

Right.

0:54:550:54:57

Welcome to the show, bit of business with the sign, through the curtains,

0:54:570:55:01

introduce the guest stars, swap Christmas presents.

0:55:010:55:03

-That's it.

-Tap, ball change, tap, ball change.

0:55:030:55:06

Tap, ball change, step and slide.

0:55:060:55:07

It will be one for the ages, boys.

0:55:070:55:09

Aye-aye, Eddie. Your taxi's here.

0:55:110:55:14

I, um.

0:55:150:55:16

I just wanted to wish you boys good luck.

0:55:160:55:18

Lovely to see you, John.

0:55:180:55:20

You stay for a drink? After?

0:55:200:55:22

I'd love to.

0:55:230:55:25

BELL RINGS

0:55:250:55:27

Right, well, we should probably leave you to it, boys.

0:55:270:55:30

-Have a good one.

-Right.

-Break a leg.

-We'll try.

0:55:300:55:32

Knock 'em dead, boys.

0:55:320:55:34

Oh, um, hang on, Eddie.

0:55:340:55:37

You know, Eddie, my mother brought me and Ernie together.

0:55:370:55:40

27th of November 1940.

0:55:400:55:42

-She saw us mucking about on a train.

-Thought we would make

0:55:420:55:44

-a good double act.

-She got that wrong.

-Terribly so.

0:55:440:55:47

-She said we'd wind up doing one of two things.

-Making it...

0:55:470:55:50

BOTH: ..or digging roads.

0:55:500:55:52

So, on behalf of the nation's roads, thank you.

0:55:520:55:55

You made us, Eddie.

0:55:550:55:56

You made us.

0:55:560:55:58

Aye.

0:55:580:56:00

You did.

0:56:000:56:02

It was nothing but an honour, boys.

0:56:050:56:08

BELL RINGS

0:56:120:56:13

-Now, bugger off.

-Right.

0:56:130:56:16

Let's do it.

0:56:160:56:17

STUDIO AUDIENCE APPLAUSE

0:56:270:56:30

LAUGHTER

0:56:400:56:43

APPLAUSE

0:56:460:56:49

# Bring me sunshine in your smile

0:56:580:57:03

# Bring me laughter all the while

0:57:040:57:09

# In this world where we live

0:57:100:57:14

# There should be more happiness

0:57:140:57:17

# All the joy you can give

0:57:170:57:20

# To each brand-new bright tomorrow

0:57:200:57:23

# Make me happy through the years

0:57:230:57:27

# Never bring me any tears

0:57:290:57:31

# Let your arms

0:57:360:57:37

# Be as warm as the sun from up above

0:57:370:57:41

# Bring me fun, bring me sunshine... #

0:57:420:57:45

For over a decade, the Liverpudlian ex-market stall trader Eddie Braben penned Morecambe and Wise's material, reshaping the double act into the Eric and Ernie that the nation took to its heart. But it wasn't all sunshine.

This comedy-drama follows the story of how The Golden Triangle was formed and celebrates the man behind Morecambe and Wise's greatest successes.

In 1969 Eddie Braben was persuaded by the BBC's then Head of Light Entertainment Bill Cotton to make the journey to London to meet Eric and Ernie and their producer John Ammonds. It wasn't a meeting of the minds. But there was a spark, something different and special that Braben saw in the music hall double act who had yet to crack their on-screen presence. He set out to uncover the essence of what would transform them into television's most beloved entertainers.

What followed was years of dedication, determination and hard graft - comedy comes at a price. With the help and support of his wife Deidree, Eddie dug deep, taking on a huge scripting workload that saw Eric and Ernie take over the living rooms and hearts of the UK population.

Year on year a new series, a new Christmas special, incredible celebrity guests and the never-ending commute from home in Liverpool to work in London saw Eddie work himself to the point of exhaustion. A man desperate for a break, but driven by perfection and the need to make people laugh.

The film culminates in a journey to the iconic 1977 Christmas Show, celebrates a decade of enormous success for both Braben and Morecambe & Wise whilst not shying away from the pressure and pain Eddie went through to help create the screen work of Britain's most beloved double act.


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