Remaining Morecambe & Wise shows to be released on DVD

Tuesday 19th October 2021, 4:10pm

The Morecambe & Wise Show. Image shows from L to R: Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise. Copyright: Thames Television

The last surviving episodes of Morecambe & Wise's starring television series are to be released on DVD in time for Christmas.

Network Distributing is to release the iconic comedy duo's final three series, plus three Christmas specials, which were produced for ITV broadcaster Thames Television in the early 1980s, on 29th November.

The complete Thames collection of four series and seven specials will be available in Morecambe & Wise At Thames, with six Christmas specials also released separately from 8th November.

All thirty-four Thames episodes will also be available in a new 14-disc Morecambe & Wise At ITV box set, alongside the double act's surviving forty-eight programmes made for ATV between 1962 and 1968.

Many of the programmes have not been seen since their original broadcast, and orders are now being accepted at Amazon.

Morecambe & Wise At ITV DVD box set. Image shows from L to R: Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise. Copyright: Network

Together, the ATV and Thames years of Eric & Ernie's output bookend their celebrated BBC shows, which ran for a decade from 1968. Aside from three recently recovered episodes from their earliest BBC work, the November releases will see all surviving Morecambe & Wise shows available to own on DVD.

Network has previously released all of the ATV programmes, as well as the first four specials and Series 1 from Thames.

Having made a number of false starts with unsuccessful television series of their own during the 1950s, Morecambe & Wise experienced continued and growing popularity in guest spots on television, as well as on stage and on radio, and were lured back to TV by ATV in 1961.

Their first series for the Midlands-based ITV broadcaster, The Morecambe And Wise Show, was a hit but is now entirely missing, believed wiped. Their second series was hit by strike action, forcing a change of name and a rejigged format: running for two series, Two Of A Kind marked the duo's break-out hit as television superstars. They then returned to the original title and format for three more series, the final of which was also filmed - by a second set of cameras in the studio - in colour for broadcast in America as Piccadilly Palace.

Next moving to BBC Two for the promise of full-time colour broadcasts within Britain, Eric and Ernie made their most iconic and celebrated series with the corporation, before being lured back to ITV by Thames from 1978, where they stayed until Eric's sudden death in 1984.

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