The 2013 Christmas Special.
The 2013 Christmas Special.


I could not let 2013 pass without a special mention for my comedy of the year – Hebburn.

Shamefully ignored in last week’s British Comedy Awards, the first BBC2 series was screened in October and November 2012.

Just about as impressive a TV sitcom debut as I can remember.

And I was there in September 1998 for the very first press screening of a new BBC2 sitcom called The Royle Family.

Hebburn is a worthy successor to Geordie comedy classics like Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Daniel Rigby and Bryan Dick as Eric and Ernie

HE died in 1984.

But I still have Eric Morecambe’s telephone number in my reporter’s contacts book.

Placed there in shaky handwriting in the late 1970s when I was a young cub reporter on the Luton News.

Asked by my news editor to call Eric to talk about a local charity event the comedy legend was involved with.

Victoria Wood (Sadie), Daniel Rigby (Eric) and Bryan Dick (Ernie)

THE train from London to Stockport on a wet morning in September for a real television treat.

A day on location with new BBC2 drama Eric & Ernie, plus interviews with cast and production team.

Sitting in the stalls of the Stockport Plaza, we were transported back to 1939 as Ted Robbins, playing impresario and agent Jack Hylton, appeared through the curtains to introduce a young Ernie Wise (Harry MacEntire).

Watching several rows back from the stage is schoolboy Eric Morecambe (Jonah Lees) and his mum Sadie (Victoria Wood).

“I’m not doing it,” is Eric’s line as he’s called to audition on stage.