Eric & Ern gems found

ITV unearths rare footage

ITV has uncovered lost Morecambe and Wise sketches, which it will screen next month.

A plea for missing footage under the Raiders Of The Lost Archive scheme has come up trumps, and the gems will air on April 12.

An ITV1 spokeswoman said Eric’s family, who feature in the progamme, were delighted by the finds

‘They were really pleased to see a karate routine which only exists because it was included in a show for US TV about the London Palladium,’ she said.

‘They were also captivated by a clip they’ve never seen from a 1968 local news report in Wales from HTV in which a very youthful John Humphrys was given the run around by Eric and Ernie while he tried to interview them.

‘They also thought that all of the first series that Morecambe and Wise did for the BBC in 1968 had been wiped. But in the programme there’s some of an episode which recently turned up for sale on eBay.

‘The amazing thing is that even shows by undisputed all time greats like Morecambe and Wise get lost.’

Before the Seventies, much footage was wiped because TV bosses put the cost of videotape above the shows recorded on it – and because they did not want to pay to store the now-valuable material.

Published: 29 Mar 2007

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