Two important reasons for the public's infatuation with Eric and Ern are nailed in the last of this lovely series. First, as fan Stephen Mangan identifies: "You always felt you were inside the joke with them." And second, their show was a great leveller. Penelope Keith, a guest in 1977, recalls Eric telling her, "You're known for being dignified. We're going to get rid of all that." And so they did, making the elegant actress clamber off an unfinished staircase in a Fred-and-Ginger spoof. But Keith's street cred soared after that.Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 19th December 2012
Victoria Wood narrates the final episode of this toe-warming series looking back at the finest comedy double act this country has ever produced. Tonight we take a look at their flawless Christmas specials over the years. There is nothing on earth that could make you feel more Christmassy. Guest stars including Angela Rippon and Penelope Keith reminisce, while famous fans watch rare and unbroadcast sketches with all the wonder of a five-year-old on Christmas morning.Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 18th December 2012
Ernie Wise's terrible plays and the A-listers they attracted to 70s staple The Morecambe and Wise Show are the focus of this week's raid on the sketch cabinet. There are marvellous clips of Arthur Lowe, Peter Cushing and Penelope Keith sending themselves up, but the icing on the guest-star cake was Oscar-winning Glenda Jackson. As M&W scriptwriter Eddie Braben says, "She brought out the best in them, as they did in her."
The Eric and Ern missteps aren't glossed over, however. One film - a deal-sweetener for the pair's migration to ITV and shown only once on telly - is fascinatingly terrible. But otherwise the deluge of punchlines will leave you satisfyingly soaked.Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 12th December 2012
In many ways Eric and Ern were pioneers of the intimate style, as we see in this week's clipshow with benefits. There's recollection and footage of the boys off screen, and anyone starting out in comedy should study the gags, with their immaculate set-up and pay-off. Arsenal!Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 5th December 2012
It was heartening to see the arrival of UK Gold's new five-part series Bring Me Morecambe And Wise on Thursday. Mainly because horrifying memories were still fresh in the mind of Chris Moyles's bewilderingly egocentric Children In Need routine in which he gurned his way between those Eric and Ernie holograms during Bring Me Sunshine.
Fortunately, ten minutes of this series would surely have been enough to convince even Moyles himself of this stark truth: he is not even fit to play the 'And' in Morecambe And Wise.Ian Hyland, Daily Mail, 24th November 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
Morecambe & Wise could bring a smile to the face of a coma patient. Their much-imitated, never-bettered brand of music-hall surrealism has aged remarkably well - it's no real surprise that we're still celebrating this inventive, inclusive and incredibly good-natured double act. This five-part series is an unabashed wallow in their finest moments and also digs a few unfamiliar morsels out of the vaults. For example, the deathless 'André Preview' routine was first performed almost a decade earlier, before being refined into the tour-de-force of Christmas TV-defining tomfoolery that we know and love. One minor caveat; the celebrity reaction shots are truly superfluous - we know Eric and Ern are funny and we don't need to watch David Baddiel or Tamsin Greig laughing at them to have that confirmed. Still, overall, sunshine can consider itself well and truly brought.Phil Harrison, Time Out, 21st November 2012
With new material, classic clips and observations from Eric Morecambe's family and well-known faces, Bring Me Morecambe & Wise is a heart-warming series about one of our best-loved comic duos. TV Choice spoke to Eric's son Gary, 56, about what it was like growing up chez Morecambe.Martina Fowler, TV Choice, 13th November 2012