List of The Morecambe & Wise Show (1978 TV series) episodes

This is an episode summary of British TV comedy show The Morecambe and Wise Show, starring Morecambe and Wise. This was the second show of this title to feature the pair and was broadcast for a total of four series and seven specials between 1978 and 1983.


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Special18 October 1978 (1978-10-18)
Special25 December 1978 (1978-12-25)
Special25 December 1979 (1979-12-25)
163 September 1980 (1980-09-03)8 October 1980 (1980-10-08)
Special25 December 1980 (1980-12-25)
271 September 1981 (1981-09-01)13 October 1981 (1981-10-13)
Special23 December 1981 (1981-12-23)
3727 October 1982 (1982-10-27)8 December 1982 (1982-12-08)
Special27 December 1982 (1982-12-27)
467 September 1983 (1983-09-07)19 October 1983 (1983-10-19)
Special26 December 1983 (1983-12-26)

First Special (1978)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Donald Sinden, Judi Dench, Leonard Sachs, Peter Cushing, Derek Griffiths, Syd Lawrence, Ann Hamilton, Kenneth Watson, Frank Coda"Keith BeckettBarry Cryer & John Junkin18 October 1978 (1978-10-18)18.7m [1]
No series was made in 1978 in an effort to make the Christmas Show stronger, but there was one hour-long offering (the same length as the BBC shows had been, but with adverts). This opened with a sequence whereby a lorry with a BBC logo emblazoned on its side, appears at Thames Television's studios, the back doors are flung open, and Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise are thrown out, in a direct nod to the bad feeling that was present at the time the partnership had departed their previous employers. The format remained reasonably faithful to that used previously although Eddie Braben did not join them immediately. There's the familiar end-of-show play "What Ern Wrote", this time it is a pastiche of Dr Jekyll & Mrs Hyde: however, there is a more cinematic feel to the parody and it moves beyond the confines of being a single set stage piece. There is also a pet shop sketch with the "Will he come out for a bit of Kit Kat?" line, itself a nod to the fact the duo were now on commercial television. The show closes with Walkin' in the Sunshine rather than Bring Me Sunshine. The episode is available on DVD as part of a Thames TV set released in March 2008.

Eric & Ernie's Xmas Show (1978)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Leonard Rossiter, Frank Finlay, Sir Harold Wilson, Eamonn Andrews, Nicholas Parsons, Frank Coda"Keith BeckettBarry Cryer & John Junkin25 December 1978 (1978-12-25)19.15m [2]
The show opens with Morecambe being stuck on one side of the stage with his suit on the other, resorting to increasingly absurd ways to cross the stage, whilst Wise reads out messages from Christmas cards received by the duo. The line-up for this first Thames Christmas Show featured several guest stars. A spoof dance routine featuring 'Anna Ford' opened the show, but since Ford herself had refused to appear, a stand in was used, with camera angles and slapstick comedy carefully concealing her face. Leonard Rossiter provided the third Andrews Sister in a "Fabulous Forties" segment; and a spoof This Is Your Life with the Royal Family opening the show. Former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson made a surprise appearance, though this was leaked in the press in advance. In one sequence, Wilson manages to upset Morecambe by joking about his beloved Luton Town Football Club; Morecambe then disappears to the back of the flat, returning with a Maggie Rules O.K. banner, a reference to Conservative opposition leader Margaret Thatcher (who would become Prime Minister the following year). The show was written by Barry Cryer and John Junkin (who also make cameo appearances) with Eddie Braben still under contract to the BBC until the following year. The show closes with a song and dance routine rather than Bring Me Sunshine

Christmas With Eric & Ernie (1979)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Glenda Jackson, David Frost, Garfield Morgan, Des O'Connor, Janet Webb, Arthur Tolcher"John Ammonds & Keith Beckett-25 December 1979 (1979-12-25)?
This was the only television programme the duo made in this year, with Morecambe's heart attack ensuing a lull in their activities. To a certain extent, the duo's output was seen to be "playing it safe" by bringing back safe and established guest stars and this edition saw the return of actress Glenda Jackson and the inevitable Des O'Connor as well as newcomer to the show, David Frost, who interviewed the duo about their long career. The show was more of an interview on the whole, but there was some newly made material, the stand-out section being a mimed version of the novelty song I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat with Morecambe as the mischievous Sylvester the cat and Wise as Tweety Pie. Harking back to the duo's previous incarnation at the BBC the programme also featured Arthur Tolcher (not now, Arthur!) and Janet Webb who had appeared at the end of their show ten years previously as "the lady who comes down at the end." The show played heavily on the pair's previous success with their festive programmes, and further cemented their relationship with the viewing public by appearing despite Morecambe's poor health. As a joke on his recent heart by-pass operation, Morecambe was not permitted to descend the staircase in the studio and this duty was performed by Garfield Morgan. However, when Morecambe did appear, he ran up and down the same staircase several times to prove his fitness. When united with Wise the pair embraced and stated how good it was to be back together again. They returned to form the following year with another full series, their first since 1976.

Series One (September–October 1980)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
1.1"Terry Wogan"John AmmondsEddie Braben3 September 1980 (1980-09-03)16.45m [3]
The traditional opening spot sees Wise attempting to present Ern's Gala Night only to be interrupted by Morecambe who appears dressed as an explorer. This is followed by a sketch featuring a remote control on the television and a Mastermind parody. A Songs Of The Highlands skit follows, then an MI6 sketch on a park bench. A spoof tobacco advert is followed by a flat-based sketch which is largely a re-hash of a routine done with Cliff Richard some years earlier with the BBC although there are updates; notably, the production number at the end of the sketch is different, being Painting The Clouds With Sunshine and closing with Wogan accompanying Wise to sing Bring Me Sunshine to be interrupted by Morecambe.
1.2"Hannah Gordon, Hugh Paddick, Frank Coda"John AmmondsEddie Braben10 September 1980 (1980-09-10)18.0m [4]
The opening sketch sees Wise again attempting to perform a song to be interrupted by Morecambe as a "Hell's Grandad" (a rehash of the BBC sketch featuring "Spick Sparkle". This is followed by a guest spot by Hannah Gordon who performs the Banana Boat Song (again reusing material from a BBC sketch featuring Nina. This is followed by a spoof bell-ringing short, and a flat sketch with the "fellow writer" is directly copied from a previous BBC incarnation too. Only the nature of the comedy in this sketch have dated it somewhat, with stereotypical allusions to homosexuality. Gordon then accompanies Wise to perform Bring Me Sunshine only to be interrupted by Morecambe once again as the credits roll.
1.3"David Prowse, Anthony Chinn, Raymond Mason, Fiesta Mai Ling"John AmmondsEddie Braben17 September 1980 (1980-09-17)16.70m
The opening scene sees Ernie's bodyguard "Cosmo" appear (fresh from his appearance as Darth Vader in the Star Wars films); this is followed by a visual sketch focusing on shoes, and a skit set in a shop in which Wise attempts to purchase a television from Morecambe. There is then a new sketch set in a Chinese Restaurant and a spoof interview "Focus On The Arts". A doctors' surgery sketch in which Morecambe has lost his voice follows, closing with a two-handed flat-based sketch focusing on reading material; Wise performs Bring Me Sunshine to close, again interrupted by Morecambe who tries to fight his way through the curtain tabs which are sealed.
1.4"Deryck Guyler, Gerald Case"John AmmondsEddie Braben24 September 1980 (1980-09-24)17.10m
The opening sketch is a re-hash of an earlier BBC This Is Your Life parody in which Wise is supposedly presented with the famous red book. This is followed by a hotel reception sketch where Morecambe attempt to check into Wise's hotel and a short skit where the duo play the card game snap. Morecambe then attempts a ventriloquist act with disastrous results. This episode features a flat-based sketch where a local vicar turns out to be a champion spoon and washboard champion. In line with other programmes in this series, Guyler plays the drums to the signature tune Bring Me Sunshine with Wise, whilst Morecambe "goes and waits for the bus" only to disturb the song.
1.5"Suzanne Danielle, Tessa Wyatt, Valerie Minfie"John AmmondsEddie Braben1 October 1980 (1980-10-01)17.60m
The opening sketch features a painting which Morecambe has purchased at a bargain price; Morecambe then appears in drag as Marlene Dietrich in a short parody; a short visual gag about stealing milk bottles follows, and a park based sketch with Morecambe as a policeman. A travel agent sketch featuring Morecambe's largely mute wife follows. With further reworkings from the BBC era the flat sketch features a budding writer character (the BBC routine featured a character that Morecambe refers to as "Miss Flanagan & Allen", and The pay-off to the flat-based sketch sees sit-com star Tessa Wyatt appear and she also performs the final song with Wise, whilst Morecambe again disappears only to re-appear and disrupt the proceedings.
1.6"Gemma Craven"John AmmondsEddie Braben8 October 1980 (1980-10-08)18.65m
In another re-working of a popular BBC routine, Morecambe appears as Mr. Fantastic (the BBC version having been Mr. Memory). A short window cleaner sketch is followed by another BBC reworking as a Foreign Legion spoof. The flat sketch again re-uses material where Wise has employed an au pair girl with predicable results; Gemma Craven features in this sketch and then joins Wise in another Gene Kelly recreation, this time to an arrangement of "Bring Me Sunshine" as a pastiche of An American In Paris whilst Morecambe interrupts the proceedings in usual riotous style bringing chaos to the routine to Wise's chagrin.

The Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show (1980)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Peter Barkworth, Glenda Jackson, Jill Gascoigne, Hannah Gordon, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Peter Vaughan, Gemma Craven"John AmmondsEddie Braben25 December 1980 (1980-12-25)14.60m [1]
Another outing sees further material re-used; the opening spot on-stage is however largely new and sees Eric presenting Ernie with a life-sized monogrammed wallet which he is at times duly trapped inside; following this Mick McManus replaces Henry Cooper in a re-worked sketch, Jill Gascoigne visits the duo for dinner (previously Ann Hamilton had appeared in this sketch), a new Rolf Harris sketch also features, Alec Guinness is the doctor who sees two as one, and Peter Barkworth provides the butt for jokes in the Ernie Wise's Hamlet skit at the end. The show closed with the signature tune Bring Me Sunshine.

Series Two (September–October 1981)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
2.1"Gemma Craven"John AmmondsEddie Braben1 September 1981 (1981-09-01)13.30m
Opening Spot, Army Reunion, Art Gallery, Marriage Guidance, Are We Past It?, Eric's Plaster Cast, Springtime In The Park, End Song
2.2"Richard Vernon, Max Bygraves"John AmmondsEddie Braben8 September 1981 (1981-09-08)12.81m
Opening Spot (Novelty Bicycle), The Connoisseurs discuss the finer points of British Rail catering, the pair discuss splitting up followed by attempts by Max Bygraves to sings (reusing material previously directed famously at Des O'Connor, and he joins them to perform Bring Me Sunshine to close.
2.3"Diane Keen"John AmmondsEddie Braben15 September 1981 (1981-09-15)12.63m
Opening Spot, Mad Morecambe The Wrestler, Pet Shop, Ernie's Female Doctor, The Travel Song, End Song
2.4"Hannah Gordon, Richard Chisholm, Richard Vernon, Gareth Hunt, Frank Coda"John AmmondsEddie Braben22 September 1981 (1981-09-22)?
The Opening Spot features a previously used BBC sketch entitled Miracle Hair Restorer with some popular culture reference updates, The Connoisseurs then discuss object d'art followed by a further re-used BBC sketch featuring bathtime for Ern, closing with the usual end song.
2.5"Peter Bowles, Suzanne Dannielle"John AmmondsEddie Braben27 September 1981 (1981-09-27)13.34m
The usual opening spot sees Morecambe using the latest in technology to videotape Wise; a reused BBC sketch featuring a disappearing doctors' patient is followed by a new beekeeper sketch, then a flat routine centred around Ernie's Book Of Health, Suzanne Danielle performers her rendition of "All That Jazz" with the pair, followed by the traditional closing song
2.6"Robert Hardy, Ian Ogilvy, Kay Korda"John AmmondsEddie Braben6 October 1981 (1981-10-06)13.42m
Opening Spot, Eric The Gypsy, Boots In The Hall, Legionnaires Sketch, Acting Advice, End Song
2.7"Joanna Lumley, Richard Vernon"John AmmondsEddie Braben13 October 1981 (1981-10-13)14.54m
Opening Spot (Pickpocket), The Connoisseurs return to discuss the merits of motorway service station food and Joanna Lumley appears in the play The Barretts Of Wimpole Street which concludes with the three performing Thoroughly Modern Millie before the closing song.

Eric & Ernie's Christmas Show (1981)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Ralph Richardson, Robert Hardy, Ian Ogilvy, Susannah York, Alvin Stardust, Suzanne Danielle"John AmmondsEddie Braben23 December 1981 (1981-12-23)16.65m [3]
This show marked in some ways the fact that Morecambe & Wise were no longer a prime asset; it was the first time in their television careers that their festive offering had not been broadcast on Christmas Night, the schedulers opting instead for 23 December. This was also because, until 1982, Thames Television only operated from Monday at 9.25am until Friday at 7pm; as Christmas Day fell on a Friday, London Weekend Television (LWT) held the franchise to broadcast that evening - in fact, Morecambe actually references the fact the show is not on Christmas Day within one of the sketches, gaining a round of applause from the studio audience. The guest list was nonetheless impressive with Ralph Richardson heading up a stellar list, Suzanne Danielle doing a Razzle Dazzle routine with the boys (and including future assistant on The Generation Game - Rosemarie Ford - in the dance troupe), a re-hash of the BBC health food shop routine, now featuring Valerie Minfie, and the obligatory play, which was Julius Caesar, a thinly covered remake of the popular BBC sketch Antony & Cleopatra from ten years earlier featuring Ian Ogilvy. This show saw M&W use technology more to gain laughs with blue screen techniques being used in some sketches, and ends with Bring Me Sunshine by the duo

Series Three (October–December 1982)

All episodes were thirty minutes in length with advertisement breaks and shown on a Wednesday evening.

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
3.1"Richard Briers & Diana Dors"John AmmondsEddie Braben27 October 1982 (1982-10-27)11.70m [3]
An opening sketch parodies Ernie's newly-grown moustache, then Benefits For Sixteen Children and Varsity Drag before Richard Briars features in the play what Ern wrote, a pirate ship parody entitled Captain Blood and Diana Dors joining Ernie for the end song Bring Me Sunshine. An extract of the play can be found on YouTube and was screened as part of a tribute to Briers following his death in February 2013.
3.2"Trevor Eve, Wayne Sleep & Jimmy Young"John AmmondsEddie Braben3 November 1982 (1982-11-03)?
The opening spot is an update of a BBC routine entitled Hands Off Little Ern, here updated to Save Little Ern here, the popular dancer Wayne Sleep then features in the Hollywood Ballet with the duo, followed by an update of a BBC play which had featured Keith Michell in Legion Of The Lost here changed to Beau Jest and now starring Trevor Eve, at the time famous as Eddie Shoestring, leading into the end song Bring Me Sunshine with Jimmy Young.
3.3"Roy Castle"John AmmondsEddie Braben10 November 1982 (1982-11-10)11.75m
Opening Spot, Food Trolley, another doctors' surgerys sketch in which the patient (Eric) isn't feeling himself; the Copacabana dance routine features Roy Castle in a return performance; a Guinness Book Of Records skit precedes Bring Me Sunshine as the end song, again featuring Roy Castle. An extract from this programme is available in low resolution on YouTube, showing the musical number at the centre of the show.
3.4"Colin Welland, Hugh Paddick & Isla St Clair"John AmmondsEddie Braben17 November 1982 (1982-11-17)12.35m [3]
Starting with an updated BBC sketch version of This Is Ern's Life with Eric substituting for Eammon Andrews and into a country and western musical number; another BBC sketch is reused when a famous writer visits the duo in their flat with Hugh Paddick playing the part originally performed by Michael Ward, before closing with Bring Me Sunshine where Isla St. Clair, at the time Larry Grayson's hostess on the Generation Game duets with Ernie.
3.5"Patricia Brake, Royce Mills & Ruth Madoc"John AmmondsEddie Braben24 November 1982 (1982-11-24)11.85m [3]
The opening spot features Eric's enormous guard dog and is another skit reused from an earlier BBC show, this is followed by a visit to a shop for Ernie's new desk and typewriter with Royce Mills as the shop assistant; an update of the Ten Years Hence... sketch from an earlier BBC show leads into the boys in top hat and tails for Me & My Shadow before the closing song (Bring Me Sunshine) which Ernie performs with Ruth Madoc, fresh from her success in Hi-De-Hi!, the end credits advise that she appears by arrangement with the BBC.
3.6"Alan Dobie & Marian Monto"John AmmondsEddie Braben1 December 1982 (1982-12-01)?
In an updated BBC opening Spot The Great Nosmo appears as a mind-reader, followed by an Informative Neighbour quickie and Do I Feel High? performed by Marian Monto; the closing sketch is entitled Burgled & Conned and features Alan Dobie who was known to audiences for his recent performance in the BBC drama Kessler the previous year, with the end song Bring Me Sunshine as usual for this series.
3.7"Nigel Hawthorne, Patricia Brake & Valerie Minfie"John AmmondsEddie Braben8 December 1982 (1982-12-08)?
In the opening spot it is Ern's Birthday, followed by an update of the BBC sketch Lost In The Desert, a foreign legion parody; a Good Neighbours skit is followed by the Facts Of Life and a doctor routine with Valerie Minfie subtitled Just Not Myself, a guillotine quickie and the closing play, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes with Nigel Hawthorne as Moriarty and Patricia Breke as Bertha the maid; the end song is again Bring Me Sunshine

Eric & Ernie's Xmas Show (1982)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Robert Hardy, Rula Lenska, Richard Vernon, Wall Street Crash"John AmmondsEddie Braben27 December 1982 (1982-12-27)11.50m [1]
Returning from the previous seasonal show was All Creatures Great & Small star Robert Hardy, joined by both Rula Lenska and Richard Vernon who had appeared in previous shows; the opening routine perhaps prophetically discussed the retiring of the double act but this in itself was a further reworking of BBC material but somehow the pace of the dialogue was becoming lost. In an update of several older sketches, the Video Shop was offered as well as a Lingerie Shop and a Chattanooga Choo Choo routine. The closing play was the Yukon Gold Rush and featured Rula Lenska in another reworking of a BBC idea. Notable of this and many other shows was the absence of the favourite signature tune over the end credits. Again, this show was not broadcast on Christmas Night but two evenings later.

Series Four (September–October 1983)

All episodes were thirty minutes in length with advertisement breaks and shown on a Wednesday evening. Each episode concluded with a No Time For... feature, explaining there was no time left to produce one of the famous plays "wot Ern wrote", with a different subject each week.

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
4.1"Margaret Courtney"Mark StuartEddie Braben7 September 1983 (1983-09-07)12.13m [3]
The opening spot is followed by a quickie entitled A Good Ending, with a further BBC sketch reworked into Ghandi Morecambe; then Honeymoon Hotel and the song and dance routine The Waiter, The Porter & The Upstairs Maid featuring Maggie Moone. The show also features Margaret Courtenay who would go on to star in the pair's final film Night Train To Murder the next year. an antique renovations skit is followed by No Time For...Jolson
4.2"David Kernan"Mark StuartEddie Braben14 September 1983 (1983-09-14)13.26m [3]
The usual opening spot is followed by a flat-based sketch revolving around the repairing of an electric blanket; a short Sacked By Mail skit is followed by the Swiss Slapping Dance (part of the duo's earliest routines revised and updated) leading into a Tyrolean Extravaganza and a return to the flat for repairs, closing with No Time For...Hunchback Of Notre Dame
4.3"Stutz Bear Catz"Mark StuartEddie Braben21 September 1983 (1983-09-21)11.90m
Following the usual opening spot, a flat sketch about warming up the bed features, then the Great Basket Escape and the language of birds which is reincarnated from a BBC sketch that featured Percy Edwards. The Chinese Musical is a song and dance number featuring the Stutz Bear Cats, this is followed by Eric's coin tricks and another re-used flat sketch themed around there being nudists next door, closing with No Time For...Robin Hood
4.4"Stutz Bear Catz"Mark StuartEddie Braben5 October 1983 (1983-10-05)11.45m
After the opening spot, another new flat sketch features Eric's bedroom telescope, which is followed by a re-working of Ern's scrapbook from a BBC show; an unnamed star guest then chickens out and a Gypsy Dance song a dance number precedes the classic Old Men's Memories. A quickie entitled A Brush With The Law is followed by No Time For...Long John Silver
4.5"Stutz Bear Catz, Margaret Courtney"Mark StuartEddie Braben12 October 1983 (1983-10-12)12.92m
The opening spot is followed by a hand-bell players skit using The Bells Of St. Mary, a rehashed BBC sketch in a record shop is followed by a Frankie & Johnny routine; Mr. Bartholomew the Pigeon Man is a new sketch (featured later in video compilations) and the close features No Time For...Peter Pan
4.6"Harry Fowler Peter Finn, Valerie Minfie"Mark StuartEddie Braben19 October 1983 (1983-10-19)14.12m
For their final regular show the opening spot is followed by a flat-based sketch where the duo attempt to fix the bed, Eric then appears as a one-man band; a further re-used BBC sketch featuring the male nannies in the park follows. An impresario requesting Ern is a re-used BBC sketch that featured a spoof telephone call from Alfred Hitchcock (suitably updated following Hitchcock's death in 1980), a department store song and dance routing features Puttin' On The Ritz(part of the duo's earliest routines revised and updated) and the show closes with No Time For...Elvis

Eric & Ernie's Xmas Show (1983)

No. Guests Director Writer Broadcast Viewership
-"Gemma Craven, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Jacobi, Fulton Mackay, Nanette Newman, Peter Skellern, Patrick Mower, Burt Kwouk, Tony Monopoly, Philip Elsmore, Frank Coda"Mark StuartEddie Braben26 December 1983 (1983-12-26)11.20m [1]
What was to be the duo's final festive offering was billed once again as Eric & Ernie's Xmas Show and some re-hashed material from earlier BBC shows despite Eddie Braben's continued input. The most notable re-used 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. The sketch that had aired originally in the 1976 seasonal show with Elton John ("sounds like an exit on the motorway...") was thinly re-worked here with Peter Skellern in the same role. A song-and-dance number of 'Swinging Down The Lane' remade from their ATV days closes the proceedings 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 a long-standing in-joke; this would be the duo's final appearance as Morecambe died the following year.

Home media

In 1980, Thames released a pair of VHS tapes; the first was the complete 1980 Christmas show, while the other was a compilation from the three that Morecambe and Wise had produced for the company at that point.[5][6]

In 2008, Network DVD released a two-disc DVD set containing the full first series with Thames Television, as well as the very first Thames episode, and the Christmas shows from 1978, 1979 and 1980.[7]

Disc TitleDiscsYearEpisode CountRelease Dates
Region 2Region 4
The Morecambe & Wise Show - The Thames Years 2 1978-1980 10 24 March 2008
Morecambe and Wise: The Christmas Specials 1 1978-1980 3 7 October 2013


  1. "The Ratings Thread (Part 27) - Page 30".
  2. "Ray Tings". Digital Spy.
  3. "The Ratings Thread (Part 68) - Page 467".
  4. "The Ratings Thread (Part 65) - Page 185".
  5. "Christmas with Morecambe & Wise". 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  6. "Eric & Ernie's Christmas Show". 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  7. "The Morecambe & Wise Show - Thames Years". 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008.

See also

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