Mr Lonely, By Eric Morecambe

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The Independent Culture

What a strange, and revealing, ride awaits the reader of Eric Morecambe's re-issued novel. The funniest man in British television history (discuss...) published Mr Lonely in 1981, just past his peak of mass adulation and acclaim.

Its story of "Sid Lewis", a struggling low-grade comic turned BBC star and Vegas bill-topper, outsmarts the behind-the-scenes showbiz fictions of Eric's "alternative" successors.

The book exudes a whiff of disillusioned melancholia as strong as the pong of a pre-smoking-ban club at 2am. Shorn of Eric's ineffable presence, the verbal gags sound lame.

Yet this bleak, pungent account of a man wrecked by success carries unforgettably down the years. Bring me sunshine, indeed. For there's precious little here.

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