Morecambe and Wise Statue
Unveiled in Blackpool
THE nation's 1st statue celebrating
the comedy genius of Morecambe and Wise has been unveiled at Blackpool's world
famous Winter Gardens.
The stunning 8ft tall bronzed statue; created by renowned sculptor Graham Lbbeson; was unveiled by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise's families at the Winter
Gardens this morning in front of hundreds of adoring fans.
Eric and Ernie performed in Blackpool more than 1,000 times in their career and
the statue was commissioned to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Britain's best
loved comedy double act first appearing on stage together in 1941.
Eric's widow Joan, who was joined at the
unveiling ceremony by eldest son Gary, daughter Gail and a representative for
Ernie's widow Doreen, said:- "The statue is simply wonderful, Graham has
really captured Eric and Ernie to perfection. For it to be unveiled here
in Blackpool, where I personally have so many happy memories of Eric and Ernie
and our families together down the years, is very fitting. This has been a
really special day I will remember forever."
Gary Morecambe added:- "Blackpool was Eric and Ernie's spiritual home,
their careers really took off here, and to see them together again in this
wonderful tribute is fantastic.
Graham is a brilliant artist and the likeness to my father and Ernie is
stunning. I am sure fans of Eric and Ernie, indeed everyone who sees it, will
get a big thrill out of it. I think my father would have been gobsmacked
by the whole idea of a statue. The fact it is here in Blackpool would have been
a huge thing for both Eric and Ernie as it is a town they had so much success in
and affection for."
Sculptor Graham Ibbeson said:- "It has
been an absolute honour and a privilege for me to bring Morecambe and Wise; 2
of my all time heroes; together again with this new statue which I am
incredibly proud of. Eric and Ernie were able to bring the nation together
through their genius and laughter and this statue celebrates them as they should
be, a double act which Britain and the world took to their hearts."
Michael Williams, Winter Gardens Managing
Director, said:- "This is a very special day for both the millions of fans
of Morecambe and Wise and Blackpool.
Eric and Ernie performed in Blackpool more than 1,000 times during their career
and it is especially fitting that this stunning new statue has been unveiled
here, which is regarded by their family and friends as the boys 'spiritual
We are sure this wonderful tribute will become a must see for comedy fans the
The statue, which has been funded through donations of £75,000, will be on
permanent display in the spectacular domed entrance to the Winter Gardens.
Sculptor Graham Ibbeson has a long history with Eric and Ernie having also
created the Eric Morecambe statue which was unveiled in 1999 by the Queen and
now adorns the promenade in the comedian's hometown, Morecambe.
During their years in Blackpool the pair entertained hundreds of thousands of
people, playing at seven theatres, 6 summer seasons and enjoying a starring role
in the 1955 Royal Variety Performance at the Winter Gardens.