Morecambe & Wise are Britain’s undisputed kings of comedy, having fronted 175 shows over a 22-year TV career. In their 1970s heyday they regularly pulled in more than 20 million viewers every week, but one of their classic shows hasn’t been seen since October 1970 and was believed to have been lost forever.
Then in 2020, Eric Morecambe’s family made a remarkable discovery. While looking for paperwork, Eric's son found an old film can in the attic. Its contents were a mystery because the label had been torn off. When the film was checked by experts, they were amazed by what flickered into view: an episode unseen for 50 years.
Now viewers will have the opportunity to view this delightful slice of classic comedy once again, alongside Eric and Ernie’s celebrity fans, former guest stars and family.
This show features the funniest sketches from the newly unearthed programme and includes rare archive film of the duo at work, to remind us why Eric and Ernie are our best-loved comedians.
Remarkably, The Lost Episode turned out to be their first ever show on BBC1, dating from 14th October 1970. It came at a crucial time in their career when, after four series on BBC2, they were about to break into the big time.
The half-hour show introduced their new BBC1 audience to a series of gag-packed routines involving stage curtains, ventriloquism and a toy dog that shoots nerve gas out of its bottom. The duo's long-time collaborator Ann Hamilton plays a nurse in a hospital sketch, looking on as Eric eats all of Ernie's grapes and then uses the empty bag to catch an invisible ball. There's even a daring bedroom sketch in which Eric eavesdrops on a newly wedded couple in the next flat while they make love.
The Lost Episode was written by their long-time script-wizard Eddie Braben and played to 14million viewers. Though it was never repeated, the episode helped pave the way for the duo's ascent to comedy legend status, and a series of star-studded hit TV shows which the nation still holds in high esteem.
Celebrity Morecambe and Wise fans taking part in this film include its narrator Toby Jones, plus Jonathan Ross, Ben Miller and Eddie Izzard. Joining the celebrities for this unique screening are Eric's wife Joan Morecambe and children Gail and Gary.
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is about to celebrate her milestone 40th birthday. In 2018, she married the nation's favourite Prince, but almost from the beginning she was portrayed as a difficult figure. Her critics believe she’s turned Prince Harry against his family, while those on Team Meghan regard her as a smart role model, a driven and outspoken royal who felt constrained by stuffy traditions. Born Rachel Meghan Markle on 4 August 1981, she grew up in Los Angeles with her mother Doria, a yoga teacher, and father Thomas, a TV lighting director. Doria encouraged Meghan with a positive outlook and determined work ethic, and the ethos that if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything.
At the time of her marriage to Prince Harry in2018, Meghan felt ostracised and abandoned by her family, who had sold stories about her to the media, and only her beloved mother Doria attended the wedding. In only three years since that happy time, the couple have stepped down from public duty and moved to California. They fled from a palace that seemed to be a prison and cited a desire for privacy from press intrusion, but ever since their arrival in the US they have continued to appear on various media outlets to publicise their grievances against the Royal family.
As Meghan enters a new chapter in her life and enjoys motherhood for the second time, this film considers how she has fought the odds stacked against her and stood up to bullies, traditions and racism. Will she come to regret the alienation and attention that is now a permanent fixture of her life? And what will be the legacy of this divisive figure?
Leaving the jumping salmon of the River Tay behind, and now skilled in the basics of how to cast, Fern Britton, Lord Ian Botham, Linford Christie, Les Dennis and Rosemary Shrager are eager to catch a fish. The question is, which fish and who will be the first? With two world class sportsmen on board, it’s becoming competitive. Linford wants to be the first to catch but Ian is having none of it! Eluded by the salmon on their first trip, they have moved north to Loch Tay where the idea of catching a monster springs to mind. An idea that is not as stupid as it sounds according to Beefy Botham. Whilst fishing is a skill that has existed for thousands of years, fish have existed since the beginning of time. Let’s go “for a fish with history, a fish with form”. He decides on their next challenge - the pike; a freshwater fish that hasn’t changed in over 60 million years.
In a battle to be the best, the boys compete on Loch Skiath to get the biggest pike, and to get as close to the pike as possible they use float tubes. Not an easy task for novices. It ends in tears when Les loses his flippers, falls in and has to be sent back to the hotel to get warmed up. Still, it hasn’t dampened his spirits.
Next day the competition hots up. It’s decided that it is best to divide and conquer; Fern and Les disappear into the mists to a secluded fishing pool on a private estate and the others go to a loch famed for arctic char and pike, Loch Rannoch. How will they fare? Who will bring back fish for the table?
Linford does catch - but not the big one. There is someone else who can gloat about catching a pike tonight. The celebration is in a beautiful country house where, to a glorious piped-in welcome, the pike sits centre stage. It is farewell to Beefy - he’s got other fish to fry. Begging the question - who will be the new member to this exclusive fishing club?
Hosted by AJ Odudu and Donna Preston (as ‘The Mistress’) this epic new celebrity gameshow sees Scarlett Moffatt, Chris Hughes, Bobby Norris, Karim Zeroual and a new recruit take on the terrifying Superhuman Bosses – including death-defying balance expert ‘Johnny the Loon’ and ‘Mr Whippy’ the flaming Whip Master – in a series of battles in the “Torture Dome” before the weakest of them is strapped inside a Human Piñata and beaten for cash.
The emergency team from Yorkshire’s favourite casualty department is back. And there have been some changes at Barnsley’s A&E —nursing staff have been promoted, junior doctors have joined and there’s a shiny new red phone. The team remain at the heart of our over-stretched health service, struggling against a backdrop of closing GP surgeries and rising patient numbers. We see the life-saving medics in Resus, the resilient nurses helping the walk-in wounded, and the paediatric specialists looking after the youngest patients. Their passion, dedication and commitment keep them returning shift after shift, but it’s their Yorkshire grit and humour that gets them through the toughest days.
Sister Benita Wainwright is running Barnsley Hospital’s casualty department today and it’s bursting at the seams. Her shift has only just started, and she’s already struggling to find room for all the patients. ‘Inevitably, I’m in charge and you walk out and it’s carnage, and a little bit sinks in me that thinks I’m sure I’ve killed unicorns in a past life!’ she says.
Registrar doctor Chris Carson takes an emergency call. ‘When the red phone goes off, there’s always that moment when you freeze for a millisecond and you think “Uh oh, what’s coming in?”, because you really don’t know what’s going to be on the other end of that phone.’ Paramedics are bringing in an 85-year-old woman who’s been found choking and is struggling to breathe.
Another patient is rushed in by ambulance. Registrar doctor Gemma Hartshorne prepares to treat a man who has suddenly lost all feeling in his foot. Loss of blood flow is turning Roger’s foot white—urgent treatment is needed to prevent amputation.
And it’s just as busy in Paediatrics, so junior doctor Jake Mullen is tasked with keeping the waiting time down. Two-year-old Elizabeth has been brought in by her mum with sickness and breathing problems. In Ambulance Arrivals, nurse Jade Boothroyd assesses Peter, a 75-year-old man who has fallen unconscious at his brass band practice. It’s the second time Peter has blacked out, so the team needs to find out exactly what’s happened.
And on a busy day like today when tea and snacks need to be at the ready, we see volunteer Jane’s love-hate relationship with the department’s toaster.
Episode Three NEWCASTLE/50s RETRO PET PALACE
Megan, Jen and Fran are our Geordie trio that have bonded over their love of animals. Between them they own two rabbits, a hamster, three rats and a cat called Poodle. The animals brought them together and the girls have lived together for eight months. They are ready to ditch the orange walls and tatty sofas in favour of a bright space that they can entertain and hang out in. Their vision is glitzy glamour but fellow animal lover Whinnie has a very different vision and wants to create a ‘50s retro pet palace. She’s going all out with a mid century style sideboard, retro wallpaper and even a rat climbing wall. She’s roping the housemates in to make a cat bed, crochet chairs and upcycling a second hand rabbit lamp. Whinnie’s got her work cut out seeing as Tyler is terrified of rats. The girls don’t want a space that looks like their nan’s living room. Will the kitsch ‘50s aesthetic be what they had in mind?
Episode Four CAMBRIDGE/MAXIMALIST BOHO
Saski, Jess, Daniella and Tom love living in Cambridge for its amazing architecture and equally impressive pub scene. What’s not so impressive is their lacklustre living room. They’ve called in the Flat out Fabulous dream team to give their space a revamp. The girls all work for the NHS and have had a particularly difficult time during the pandemic, so Whinnie and Tyler are hoping to redesign their space and give them a room that they can chill in after a long shift, but also use as a party space to let off some steam. Whinnie wants to re-jig the layout of the room and go big with a daybed that converts into a dancefloor. She’s bringing in tropical wallpaper and wood panelling to create a maximalist boho vibe. The housemates are getting stuck in to and dyeing old dust sheets to make curtains, turning empty crisp tubes into vases and creating a striking wooden panelled fireplace. Whinnie’s feeling the pressure as this group are so deserving of a new living space but can she deliver and give them what they want?
Bigger, better and now BAFTA award-winning, the critically acclaimed The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan returns for a supersized second series. Fronted by comedy superstar and multi-award winning Mo Gilligan, The Lateish Show will put the fun back into Friday nights as Mo is joined in the studio by a dazzling array of famous faces from the worlds of entertainment, music and sport and house band The Compozers.
Across the series, we’ll be treated to hilarious sketches featuring Mo’s trademark characters, more iconic Nursery Grimes, unmissable music performances and one of a kind studio games where the audience could win some incredible prizes. The action doesn’t end there though as Mo will also take the party out on to the streets of the UK seeking to make the public the real stars of the show.
Episode Three – Heart of England - Midlands
This brand-new series sees Professor Suzannah Lipscomb taking to foot all around the country on the trail of history’s most fascinating dynasty. From Henry VII through to Elizabeth I, the Tudors did more to shape our national identity than any who had come before. From the birth of the Royal Navy, to the tearing down of the monasteries, the Tudors put themselves at the heart of a new-look, confident England. But this was a time of intrigue and conspiracy too, because as Suzannah discovers, this famous family served up sibling betrayal, religious hatred and no shortage of beheadings.
In this episode, Suzannah walks through the heart of England, from Kenilworth in Warwickshire to Stamford in Lincolnshire to uncover the stories behind Elizabeth’s reign – of love, friendship and betrayal.
Suzannah starts at Kenilworth Castle, and explores why it was that Elizabeth never married or had children. Her greatest love was Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who was already married when Elizabeth came to the throne. When his wife died, he never gave up on marrying her, and threw an extravagant 19-day pageant to try and persuade her. They remained close friends until he died.
After that, Suzannah stops off in Bubbenhall Wood to reveal Elizabeth’s fascination with the occult. Elizabeth restored an old law of her father’s, which made witchcraft punishable by death. Yet she had her own personal court astrologer and scientific advisor, John Dee, who is perhaps one of the most fascinating men of her reign. He helped lay the groundwork for Elizabeth’s voyages of exploration. Yet he also believed he could communicate with angels.
Next Suzannah visits Kirby Hall, one of England’s finest Tudor houses, to explore how far Elizabeth’s courtiers would go to win her favour. Its owner, Sir Christopher Hatton, almost bankrupted himself to make Kirby Hall suitable for a queen’s visit, yet Elizabeth never actually came to stay. Ten and a half miles from Kirby is the remains of Fotheringhay Castle, which is where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. Although Elizabeth never wanted to execute her relative, she was left with no choice when a plot to overthrow Elizabeth and install Mary on the throne was uncovered.
Finally Suzannah goes to Burghley House, which belonged to the man who was perhaps her closest advisor: William Cecil. He was her political mentor, her oracle, who could also act with cunning ruthlessness when necessary. He was the man who helped set up England’s spy network, and saw conspiracies everywhere. His life was spent in service to his queen.
Featuring a rolling cast of famous faces, Celebrity Gogglebox returns for a third series, as several of Britain's best loved personalities turn their hand to being the country's most opinionated viewers. From Saturday night entertainment juggernauts to the week's biggest news stories, and from hard-hitting documentary series to gritty drama, Celebrity Gogglebox offers sharp, insightful, funny and sometimes emotional critiques of popular and topical TV shows, sparking debate and giving the audience the chance to share those 'we said that!' moments with some of their favourite celebrities.