Captain Moonlight: Tribute? Bring us sunshine

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The Independent Online
IT IS 10 years since the death of the great Eric Morecambe. The BBC, in the manner of the BBC, is marking the occasion with a three-part series. There will be clips, analysis and tributes - you know the form. Personally, I would settle for repeats. Analysis of humour is always pretty risible. Here is Ben Elton on Morecambe and Wise: 'I think it was that need for each other, that need to avoid being alone, that made Morecambe and Wise great.

'They remind me of Vladimir and Estragon in Becket's Waiting for Godot: filling time, looking back on the past, imagining some fictitious future where the Prime Minister had phoned up and was coming over to be in a play. I think that's every bit as surreal as Beckett, and has just as much to tell us about time and loneliness and friendship.'

There is, I thought, no answer to that. But I rang the surviving half anyway. 'It's a famous one, that, isn't it?' said Little Ern. 'I know it's been suggested that we could have played those parts. It's a serious type of thing.' And then he revealed that he and Eric had actually talked about doing it. A narrow escape. Thankfully, they decided to stick to the plays what were wrote by Ern, a playwright, in my view, with a much surer grasp of the ultimate futility of the human condition.