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Publisher Description

The dual biography of the great British comedy double-act and the rise and fall of mass audience television by the respected biographer of Cary Grant .

Following the success of Cary Grant – A Class Apart, Graham McCann has now created an intricate portrait of Eric Morcambe and Ernie Wise, possibly the most famous Bristish comedy double-act of all time. This book charts the progress of the duo from a conventional working class music hall act to a mass-audience television team to a national institution. From northern working men’s clubs at the beginning of their career to the 1977 Christmas special that had an audience of 28 million, Morecambe and Wise were a double act continually changing the dynamics of their relationship to reflect their influences and their times. Their shows were like nostalgic reflections on a century of popular entertainment, an entertainment that was inclusive to a wide audience and paid homage to the past.

McCann’s study is also an investigation in the background of mass audience entertainment from which Morecambe and Wise rose. Morecambe & Wise is the definitive biography of one of the most-loved double acts as well as a history of their times.


‘A gorgeous plum pudding of a biography.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Graham McCann’s expert biography shows how a good writer can make fascinating the lives of two people who, effectively did nothing but work and die. Intensely moving.’ David Hare, Guardian

‘McCann’s book is destined to become required reading for a new generation of nervous non-committal reading for a new generation of nervous non-committal light-entertainment executives, as well as an enlightening behind-the-scenes document for the curious fan.’ Stewart Lee, Sunday Times

‘So funny that the reader laughs out loud.’ Sunday Independent

‘McCann’s impeccably detailed biography is both a celebration and a lament.’ The Times

About the author

Graham McCann is a lecturer in Social and Political Theory at Kings College, Cambridge. His previous books include: Marilyn Monroe: The Body in the Library (1988); Woody Allen: New Yorker (1990); Rebel Males: Clift, Brando & Dean, and a recent study of Theodore Adorno for Blackwells.

Biographies & Memoirs
January 31
Fourth Estate
Harper Collins Canada Limited

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