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Comedy producer Ernest Maxin dies aged 95

Ernest Maxin, the comedy producer and director who worked with comedians including Morecambe & Wise, has died aged 95.

British Comedy Guide, 27th September 2018

The concluding part of this heartfelt tribute celebrates the superstar years of Eric and Ern: the monster ratings, the game-for-anything guests (Bassey, Previn, Jackson, Keith) and vital collaborators. We're treated to sketches last seen in the 60s, discover important inspirations and hear the honest thoughts of writer Eddie Braben, Eric's son Gary and dance-mad producer Ernest Maxin.

People forget that Morecambe and Wise were a quartet on TV - writers Dick Hills and Sid Green appeared with the boys on screen, even after their move from ITV to the BBC. But after Eric's first heart attack in 1968, Hills and Green left and Eddie Braben took over. It was a marriage made in comedy heaven.

Looking for a way forward, the duo remembered what had made them in the first place, and brought the warmth of the theatre to the cold technical space of a TV studio.

There's a priceless story about a fretful Morecambe convinced the Nothing like a Dame routine wouldn't work - Maxin's mime of Eric's face as he watched the final edit is especially moving. "He turned around," adds Maxin, "he put his arms around me, gave me a big kiss and the glasses filled up with tears... with relief that it had worked!"

There are some fabulous memory-joggers, too. Remember Janet Webb, the mystery woman who took all the applause at the end of their early 70s shows, even though she'd done absolutely nothing to earn it? "Goodnight, and I love you all!"

You'll be gripped by every step of the story, and look around you at the end to see if you can spot a dry eye.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 1st December 2013

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