Tuesday 3 May 2022

Lost Morecambe and Wise Episodes From First Ever Series On BBC Are Restored

A series of previously lost episodes of The Morecambe and Wise Show are to be released on DVD for the very first time by BBC Studios.

The episodes, from The Morecambe and Wise Show's first series for the BBC, are part of the Morecambe and Wise: The Lost Tapes DVD release that will be available at retail from 6th June and to pre-order now at www.amazon.co.uk

The Morecambe and Wise Show was first broadcast on BBC Two in Autumn 1968. It was one of the earliest British comedy series to be shown in colour and the first series included guest stars such as Bruce Forsyth and Matt Monro. That very first series was never archived as was standard practice at the time and all eight episodes of series one were disposed of in the 1970s, to make space in the BBC's archives for newer shows.

Following years of archive research and restoration, film copies have been found for four of the eight episodes of the first series, with audio-only recordings having also been located for the other four. All eight episodes are now being released on DVD together with a previously lost one-off Morecambe and Wise special from October 1970.

All episodes have undergone extensive sound and picture restoration, with 'colour recovery' software having been used to restore all bar one of the episodes to their original full colour, for the first time since they were originally screened by BBC Two in 1968.

One episode (the very first Morecambe and Wise recorded for the BBC) only survives as a badly decomposed film print, rediscovered in a film vault in West Africa. Groundbreaking new technology has been developed to scan this film with x-ray and recover the images locked inside the badly decayed film. This was part of a world-first seven-year long restoration project by the BBC and Queen Mary University, London.

Morecambe and Wise: The Lost Tapes DVD also contains a wealth of never before released special features, including an original BBC Two trailer; 1960s BBC interviews; a raw studio recording from 1972; deleted scenes from series one and original scripts and production paperwork.


  • Four previously unreleased full colour episodes, including a one-off special from October 1970.
  • A special reconstruction of an otherwise lost early episode from series 1.
  • Four audio-only recordings of otherwise lost episodes from series 1.
  • Two short documentaries about the lost episodes of 'The Morecambe and Wise Show'.
  • A 1968 BBC 2 interview with Eric Morecambe featuring Marty Feldman.
  • An original 1974 BBC 2 trailer for The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show.
  • Surviving footage from an otherwise lost episode of series 1.
  • Deleted scenes from series 1.
  • A raw studio recording from December 1972.
  • A BBC Radio interview with Morecambe and Wise from October 1963.
  • A collection of original production paperwork, including scripts and Radio Times cuttings.

To coincide with the DVD release, a special screening will take place with the British Film Institute on 21st May at the National Film Theatre on the Southbank in London.  

No comments:

Post a Comment