Ernie Wise(1925-1999), Comedian
Ernie Wise (Ernest Wiseman)
Sitter in 7 portraits
In 1940 Ernie Wise and Eric Bartholomew formed a friendship and began touring together. They first appeared together at the Liverpool Empire in 1941 as Bartholomew and Wise, changing their name soon after to Morecambe and Wise, after Eric's birth town. They became national celebrities through their ITV television series, first broadcast in 1961. In 1968 they moved to the BBC where The Morecambe and Wise Show (1968-77) attracted huge audiences. Their Christmas Special came to be regarded as essential viewing and in 1977 it attracted 28 million viewers, still a record for a comedy programme. Returning to ITV in 1978, their show continued until 1983.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
Watch Paul Merton talking about Ernie Wise in the Media section below