Eric Morecambe

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John Eric Bartholomew OBE (14 May 1926 – 28 May 1984), known by his stage name Eric Morecambe, was an English comedian who together with Ernie Wise formed the award-winning double act Morecambe and Wise. The partnership lasted from 1941 until Morecambe's death of a heart attack in 1984. Eric took his stage name from his home town, the seaside resort of Morecambe in Lancashire, England.

He is best remembered for the television series The Morecambe & Wise Show, which for some of its Christmas episodes gained UK viewing figures of over twenty-eight million people.[1] The duo's reputation enabled them to have a number of prestigious guests on the show, including Angela Rippon, Princess Anne, Cliff Richard, Laurence Olivier, John Mills, the Dad's Army cast, Glenda Jackson, Hazell Dean, Tom Jones, Elton John, The Beatles and even former Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

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Early life and childhood career

Eric Morecambe was born to George and Sadie Bartholomew. Sadie was determined to see her only child make a success of his life, and took work as a waitress to raise funds for his dancing lessons. Eric did not enjoy these lessons at the time, although they were to come in handy during his later life. During this period, Eric Bartholomew won numerous talent contests, most notably in Hoylake in 1939, the prize for which was an audition with Jack Hylton. Also present was another young talent named Ernest Wiseman, already a familiar voice from Arthur Askey's radio series Band Waggon. This was the first meeting of what was to become one of the United Kingdom's most loved comedy partnerships, although it was to be a further two years before they would team up. Three months after the audition, Hylton invited Eric to join a revue called Youth Takes a Bow at the Nottingham Empire, where once more he encountered Ernie. The two soon became very close friends, and with Sadie's encouragement started to develop a double act.

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