Television history was made when Yorkshire’s Ernie Wise and his mate, Eric Morecambe hit the small screen with a their self-titled entertainment show. They had already been on the telly previously with “Two of A Kind” from 1961-68, but the series which would define their careers started on this day, 48 years ago. Little is known about the content of the first episode because the archives were wiped by the BBC in the early ’70s to recycle the video tapes. Imagine what they would be worth now! Only fragments of the first series still exist, which ran from September to October 1968. The Morecambe & Wise show would become one of the best loved shows in TV history and reached a pinnacle in 1977, when a record-breaking 28 million people tuned in to see Eric, Ernie, Elton John and Angela Rippon in the Christmas Special. This day in 1968 marked the very beginning of the story.
Cover picture credit: Jonathan Rudd