Andre Previn

André Previn dies at the age of 89

The conductor and composer André Previn has died at the age of 89.

BBC, 28th February 2019

Shirley Bassey getting into big boots, Andre Previn (or should that be Mr Preview?) watching in horror as Eric Morecambe murders Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, Glenda Jackson being a remarkably convincing Ginger Rogers... We've seen these clips time and again, yet somehow they never cease to raise a smile. Penelope Keith, who took part in Morecambe and Wise's 1976 Christmas special, presents the best of the pair's musical routines from the archives.

The Telegraph, 21st December 2012

If RT had a Smile of the Week category, this first of a five-part series would be it. Fans and family share their love of Britain's highest-rated TV comics (up to 28 million watched them) as we're treated to joyously funny clips.

It's worth noting that, for all their front-of-cloth prowess, even Eric and Ernie sometimes had to take their hat off to a guest. Conductor/pianist André Previn, who only learnt his lines on the way to the studio, made the famous Grieg Concerto sketch work by both his timing and his poker-faced delivery. It's packed with laughs, rare footage and possibly the finest use of the line "No I always walk like this" you've ever heard.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 21st November 2012

BBC One's My Favourite Joke features various comics talking about their favourite comedy moments. It's like a Channel 4 poll but without the public interfering. It is the sort of show you would expect Stewart Lee to make a satirical routine about, and if Del falling through the bar in Only Fools and Horses is picked as one of those moments, no doubt he will.

In the latest episode, the moments chosen were Lee Evans' Bohemian Rhapsody mime; the scene in Rising Damp in which Rigsby uses burning wood to charm Miss Jones; the American comic Sam Kinison ranting against his ex-wife; Lucille Ball on roller skates, and Andre Previn's performance with Morecambe and Wise.

The thing is with these shows is that is tempting to say that they are a waste of airtime, and that it would be better to make an actual show that wasn't just full of clips. People say this all the time, but let's be honest, if they did make a show for that slot the chances are it probably won't be anything decent. It would just probably just be tat.

It's rather like people complaining about there being too many repeats on the BBC. Rubbish! In my view, there's not enough. There is a simple way to tell if there is, namely by looking at the entire schedule and pointing out all the awful TV shows that are out there. Scrap them, try to make some decent new shows in some slots and put some repeats of shows that you know are decent in the others. Look at the recent repeat run of Only Fools on daytime BBC One. It's been getting big ratings. Rather than put on some programme about property development on, just put on Dad's Army. No-one in their right mind would object to that.

Getting back to the show in hand, I suppose the main merit of these shows is that there will be quite a few comedy clips on My Favourite Joke that people in Britain many not have seen before. I've never seen The Lucy Show for example, and the roller skating routine is a very good piece of slapstick. So these shows do sometimes introduce to new experiences, which can only be a good thing.

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 2nd August 2011

Everybody has a favourite Morecambe and Wise sketch - including those too young to see the shows when they first aired.

Thanks to repeats and tribute shows such as these, even babies are familiar with the 'Andrew Preview' music sketch and the time newsreader Angela Rippon got her pins out for the boys.

Both pop up in this homage to the great comedy duo, hosted by lifelong fan Paul Merton.

It's lovely watching a presenter who genuinely cares about the subject. He's joined by people who worked with Eric and Ernie, including Angela, Bruce Forsyth, conductor Andre Previn and writer Eddie Braban - who provided acres of material for the duo and wrote many of their famous Christmas specials.

Watching the footage again, you realise just how pants today's sketch shows are. Who will remember Tittybangbang in 30 years' time, let alone pay tribute to it?

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 2nd January 2009