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'The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 —The Lost Tape': everything you need to know about the rediscovered episode

'The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 - The Lost Tape' sees a previously lost episode of the duo's comedy show being broadcast live on BBC2 on Christmas day.
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. (Image credit: BBC)

The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 — The Lost Tape is an exciting opportunity to see legendary comedy duo Morecambe and Wise back in action and is sure to be a Christmas TV highlight.

The titular "lost tape" was uncovered by Eric Morecambe's son, Gary. It contains an episode of the show from 1970 which was previously thought lost after the 45-minute episode had been wiped so the BBC could re-use the expensive tape in the past.

This lost episode has now been colorized for the first time ever by the BBC, bringing it right up to date for people to enjoy 50 years on this Christmas.

Here's everything you need to know about The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 - The Lost Tape.

'The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 — The Lost Tape' release date

The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 - The Lost Tape will air on BBC2 at 7:45 pm on Christmas Day, right after a rebroadcast of their hilarious 1971 Christmas show (featuring Andre Previn, Glenda Jackson, and Shirley Bassey) at 7:00 pm.

For more info on all the best shows to watch on TV this Christmas, check out our UK Christmas TV Guide.

Which episode has been restored?

The episode in question is the first Morecambe and Wise show that the comedy double act made for BBC1. It dates back to Oct. 8, 1970, right after Eric and Ernie moved over from BBC2.

Speaking to BBC News, Gary Morecambe said the episode was from the iconic duo's earliest days of working with Eddie Braben, who went on to pen some of Eric and Ernie's famous sketches. Footage from the newly-colourized episode appeared in an ITV documentary about the duo which aired earlier this year.

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise

'The Lost Tape' is a perfect opportunity to enjoy some classic comedy this Christmas! (Image credit: BBC)

Where was the tape found? 

The footage for The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 - The Lost Tape was found by Gary Morecambe whilst searching for old scripts in the attic at his mother's home in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. 

Gary revealed to BBC News that he found the 45-minute episode amongst seven unlabelled canisters. After his agent sent them off to be examined by experts, Gary said he was "staggered" to find one of them contained an entire episode of The Morecambe and Wise Show.

He said: "Six of them had virtually nothing of interest on them, and then the last one, which had part of a BBC sticker on it, had a show which had been presumed as lost. But it wasn't [lost], it was there."

He added: "It's a bit like when they found something of Tony Hancock and Dad's Army, these are important pieces from the golden era of television so to find something that was presumed wiped, and has been sitting in an attic for 50 odd years, that is very exciting and very important."

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