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.
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[Eric and his mother discuss the disastrous TV series
How long are you going to keep this up - this sulking malarkey. You used to sulk when I made you wear that schoolboy outfit - right up till when it got you a big laugh.
Television isn't about dressing up as a schoolboy and singing, you know.
Well it certainly isn't about being funny. Not if what I saw you two do is anything to go by.
Don't go easy on me just because we're related, will you.
I don't know how to soft-pedal - ...
Music by Tony Hatch
and Jackie Trent
Words by Tony Hatch
Sung by Eric Morecambe
and Ernie Wise
over end credits See more