11 user 5 critic

Eric & Ernie (2011)

A telling of the fledging careers and early days of the comedy duo that was Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, from their dance-hall performances of northern England to cult status.


Jonny Campbell


Peter Bowker, Victoria Wood (idea)
8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Reece Shearsmith ... Harry Wiseman
Josh Benson Josh Benson ... Little Ernie
Tom Atkinson ... Little Eric (as Thomas Atkinson)
Victoria Wood ... Sadie Bartholomew
Thomas Aldersley Thomas Aldersley ... MC
Vic Reeves ... George Bartholomew (as Jim Moir)
Ted Robbins Ted Robbins ... Jack Hylton
Jonah Lees ... Young Eric
Harry McEntire ... Young Ernie
Ria Jones Ria Jones ... Landlady
Pam Shaw Pam Shaw ... Lily
Daniel Rigby ... Eric Morecambe
Bryan Dick ... Ernie Wise
Hannah Steele ... Doreen
Esmé Bianco ... Lola


In the run-up to World War Two, Ernie Wiseman, a precocious and confident child performer, is signed up by influential impresario Jack Hylton. In Morecambe, pushy stage mum Sadie Bartholomew drags her slightly reluctant son Eric, an eccentric dancer, from one audition to the next until he too becomes a client of Hylton. The boys do not get on at first but Sadie sees a way to exploit their cross-talk and they form a bantering double act as Morecambe and Wise. After war service they become successful on stage and on radio but their attempt to crack the new medium of television is a disaster because they have been forced to accept a script which will make their Northernness acceptable to Southern viewers. They split up. However Sadie knows the formula that once worked and pushes Eric, now married to dancer Joan, into contacting Ernie. They decide to reform, on their own terms, into the act that would become one of the most successful television pairings ever. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Reece Shearsmith plays young Ernie's father and there's a little nod to him playing Papa Lazarou (The League of Gentlemen (1999)) as he puts make up on towards the beginning. See more »


[Eric has just learned that he has won the Jack Hylton audition and will be taking part in the "Youth Takes a Bow" stage show, touring the country alongside Ernie Wise]
Young Eric: Touring the country? When will I see my mates?
Sadie Bartholomew: You'll make new mates - Variety mates - mates with a bit of something about them.
Young Eric: I don't want Variety mates. I've got a gang here - *and* an air-gun!
Sadie Bartholomew: Eric, d'you want to be tied to a whistle all your life, like your dad?
Young Eric: Well...
Sadie Bartholomew: Eric, listen to me. You make people laugh, you're a lovely ...
See more »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 23 May 2011 (2011) See more »


Positive Thinking
Music by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent
Words by Tony Hatch
Sung by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise over end credits
See more »

User Reviews

Brought me sunshine
8 January 2012 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

I'm of that generation that religiously waited for and watched Morecambe and Wise's usually superb BBC TV specials in the mid 70's when they were at their peak (although nowhere near enough credit is given to their writer Eddie Braben) and so was very interested to watch this dramatisation of their formative years.

It has to be said that their old employer does them proud with a well written, produced and acted TV movie. In truth I could find little to fault in it, my only complaints being perhaps the limited dynamic arc in the story itself and a little too much screen-time for the inspiration behind the project, Victoria Walters. That's not to say she's not good in the part of Eric's pushy, typical show-biz mother, but she takes too much focus away from our heroes, to the, as I say, slight detriment of the piece.

The other main casting credits work very well, with Jim (Vic Reeves) Moir a revelation as Eric's docile dad and the young actors playing Eric and Ern as spot on as they could be with look, voice and mannerisms. They have that essential ingredient for any double-act, chemistry. The script includes some decent gags, but enough of what really matters here, drama, to make it entertaining.

The duo's well-known personae are developed naturally and enough signposts are inserted to their future routines and catch-phrases to please admirers of their later work. As I indicated, this wasn't the most essential show-biz bio-pic I've ever watched but it was amongst the more entertaining of them.

What did I think of it (so far)? Definitely not "Rubbish!"

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Release Date:

1 January 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Morecambe and Wise See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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