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Eric Morecambe statue brings seaside lasting sunshine
The memorial to the late star was unveiled on Morecambe Promenade by the Queen
The memorial was unveiled on Morecambe Promenade by the Queen

Ten years ago this month the statue of comedy legend Eric Morecambe was unveiled by the Queen, bringing a little sunshine to his home town.

Thousands of fans lined the promenade in the comic's home town of Morecambe to watch the unveiling of the larger than life-sized bronze figure.

The statue features some of Eric's famous sayings - and the names of 103 celebrities who starred alongside him.

It took sculptor Graham Ibbeson six years to complete.

The much-loved comedian - who with Ernie Wise formed the nation's favourite double act - died on 28 May 1984, after collapsing on stage with a heart attack shortly after his 58th birthday.

The song which became the Eric and Ernie television anthem - Bring Me Sunshine - was played over loudspeakers as fans watched the Queen unveil the statue on 23 July 1999.

The words to the pair's theme tune are also on the steps leading up the the statue.

Sculpted by Graham Ibbeson, the statue is set in an outdoor arena on the town's promenade and features the comedian in his classic "Bring Me Sunshine" pose, with one hand raised and a leg cocked.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were joined by Eric's widow, Joan Bartholomew, and their children Gary, Gail and Steven at the unveiling ten years ago, when Mrs Bartholomew said: "I think Eric would have been staggered. You think in terms of buildings or streets being named after you, but a statue? Not for a comic.

Eric's widow, Joan Bartholomew, and their children Gary, Gail and Steven were all at the unveiling
Now he will be remembered for all time on Morecambe front
Joan Bartholomew

"Now he will be remembered for all time on Morecambe front."

Eric Morecambe was born John Eric Bartholomew on 14 May 14 1926 at 42 Buxton Street, Morecambe. He met Ernest Wiseman in 1941 and their act was first seen at the Liverpool Empire the same year.

He decided to take the stage name from his home town, Ernie shortened his surname, and Morecambe and Wise were created.

Eric's former chauffeur Mike Fountain said: "He was such a funny man. He didn't have to read a script, he was just a naturally funny man."

Dave Miles of the Eric and Ernie fan club added: "He always had time to talk to people and sign autographs. He made sure he made your day before going on his merry way."

Have you had your photo taken next to the statue? Send them in to lancashire@bbc.co.uk




SEE ALSO
In pictures: Eric Morecambe statue
09 Jul 09 |  People & Places

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