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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 06:01 GMT 07:01 UK
Morecambe and Wise's funny man
Morecambe and Wise
Many of their best lines were written by Eddie Braben
In the 1970s, they were a national institution.

Celebrities from Andre Previn to Diana Rigg queued to appear on their show.

But almost every gag which came out of the mouths of Morecambe and Wise in their heyday was put there by a quiet Liverpuddlian.

Eddie Braben's surreal and witty scripts transformed the duo's act, from the business in front of the curtains, to the pair's closing song.

  • This morning, Eddie Braben came into the Breakfast studio, to talk about life with Eric and Ernie and his long career as a comedy writer

    As it happens, Breakfast is transmitted from the studio next door to the one where those iconic Morecambe and Wise series were recorded, three decades ago.

    As he came in, he told us, he still got that buzz - the tingle of something exciting about to happen

    "I had to go to Studio 8 - the emporium of dreams, where it all happened.. Everything was a memory, even the coffee machine outside.

    "Eric tasted the coffee and he always said - I'll take some of this home and do the doors with it."

    scriptwriter Eddie Braben in the Breakfast studio
    Braben: brought warmth to their act
    Eddie Braben became a full time comedy writer in the 1950s, and produced scripts for many of the comedians of the time, including Ken Dodd.

    He didn't start writing for Eric and Ernie until 1969 - and in fact, he didn't like their act when he first saw it.

    "I wasn't a fan when I first saw them," he told Simon and Natasha.

    "I thought they were too American: Ernie was abrasive and Eric was a bit silly."

    What Eddie Braben tried to do was to inject into the scripts some of the warmth which existed between the two men off-stage.

    "What you saw (on TV) was Eric and Ernie - no-one could act being Morecambe and Wise," he told us.

  • The Book What I Wrote by Eddie Braben is published next month by Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN: 0340833734

    The gags what I wrote
    Eddie Braben live on Breakfast

    BBC Breakfast



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