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Head of Zeus
Sunshine and Laughter
08 Jul 2021 * EBOOK * £8.99 * 9781838933395

The story of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise – British television's most iconic double act.

Non Fiction / BGF (Biography)
Extent: 320 pages  Illus: 1x8pp col
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: US
Happiness and Tears
Also by Louis Barfe
Sunshine and Laughter: The Story of Morecambe & WiseLouis Barfe

The unique story of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise – British television's most iconic double act.

'A warm and sympathetic portrait of two pals who conquered the world simply by radiating hilarious friendship' Sunday Times

'Barfe lifts the lid on the lives of TV's most iconic double act and gets to the heart of what made them so loved by a nation' Sunday Post

The Morecambe and Wise Show was the crème de la crème of TV light entertainment from the late 1960s until the early 1980s. The hardy perennial comedy duo at its heart had even greater longevity, spanning five decades from their wartime debut at the Liverpool Empire to Morecambe's tragically early demise in 1984.

This is no simple, linear story of rags to fame and riches; Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise learnt showbiz the hard way. They began their careers as child stars, became famous in Variety, and then faded just as quickly into obscurity. But they would re-emerge bigger, better and brighter – and with a sackful of experience grittily won – to reach a level of celebrity and popularity that is unlikely ever to be equalled. By the time of their last BBC Christmas Show in 1977, they were twenty-four carat comedy gold – a national institution whose shows drew audiences in excess of twenty million. They also loved each other like brothers, and the audience repaid that love; they were the nation's best friends.

Other quality double acts have been and gone, yet none come close to the affection in which Morecambe and Wise are held. In Sunshine and Laughter, Louis Barfe tells their touching story, and explores how it is that thirty-seven years after their last television show, the tall handsome one with glasses and the one with the short, fat, hairy legs continue to work their unique brand of comedy magic.

Louis Barfe is a journalist and expert on all aspects of the entertainment industry. He is the author of Where Have All The Good Times Gone? The rise and fall of the record industry (2004), Turned Out Nice Again – the story of British light entertainment (2008), The Trials and Triumphs of Les Dawson (2012) and Happiness and Tears: the Ken Dodd Story (2019). He tweets @AlanKelloggs.

Morecambe and Wise are enduring legends of British TV comedy.

Author Louis Barfe is the doyen of historians of light entertainment.

Happiness and Tears: the Ken Dodd Story was chosen as a Times Book of the Week.

MARKET: Roger Lewis; Hunter Davies; Paul Merton.


'A warm and sympathetic portrait of two pals who conquered the world simply by radiating hilarious friendship' Sunday Times

'Barfe lifts the lid on the lives of TV's most iconic double act [...] and gets to the heart of what made them so loved by a nation' Sunday Post

'Countless TV programmes have paid tribute to 'the boys' [...] and there's a veritable library of books. So do we need a new one? The answer – if you're a fan – is a resounding yes. And comedy historian Louis Barfe [...] is just the man to do it. A safe pair of hands, his Sunshine and Laughter is the perfect companion piece to Graham McCann's excellent 1998 biography. His research is exemplary' Camden New Journal

PRAISE FOR HAPPINESS AND TEARS:
'As much a tribute as a biography ... The result is sure to delight Dodd's many admirers' TLS.
'[An] industriously thorough, entertaining biography of the late Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd' Spectator.
'An absolute joy' Choice Magazine.
'Fascinatingly odd'
Daily Express

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