When Morecambe and Wise left the B.B.C. in 1978 to go to Thames, the B.B.C. looked around for a brand new double-act to replace them. Producer Ernest Maxin took two comedians who had enjoyed limited television exposure, Lennie Bennett and Jerry Stevens, and gave them their own show.
Bennett, curly-headed and with big teeth, was the funny one, while Jerry, good-looking and Italianesque, played at being straight man. The show itself was a curate's egg, to be honest, often looking like televised cabaret, but the duo caught the public's fancy, and soon they were doing Royal Variety Performances and the like, their patter often interrupted by toothless northerner Albert Pontefract.
Had Lennie and Jerry stayed together its very likely they'd have inherited Eric and Ernie's crown ( their only competition at this time were Little & Large, and Cannon & Ball ); even Eric Morecambe admitted to being a fan, but in 1980 they stunned fans by splitting up.
Lennie went on to host the I.T.V. game show 'Punchlines', Jerry the B.B.C.'s short-lived 'Telly Quiz'. When those ended, obscurity beckoned for both comics.
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