A recently-discovered episode of The Morecambe and Wise show that was lost for 50 years is being aired on Christmas Day.
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise remain one of the most popular comedy duos in British TV history, after making their debut in 1941, and going on to develop complex skits, characters, and routines over the years.
The fourth and final series of The Morecambe and Wise Show for the BBC aired in 1978.
It’s pretty fair to say that sitting down to watch a Morecambe and Wise Christmas special became an important tradition for many families in the late 60s and 70s, with the comic double act’s festive shows often garnering prime-time audiences in excess of 20 million – some of the largest in British television history.
And now, in 2021, that tradition can be relived once again.
Dating back to October 1970, the recently-discovered 45-minute show was the duo’s first for BBC One after they moved from BBC Two.
The previously-lost episode was discovered by Eric Morecambe’s son, Gary, who found seven canisters in the attic of his mother’s house in Hertfordshire while he was searching for old scripts last year.
After the canisters were sent off by his agent to be examined, experts soon realised that they contained film.
The lost episode – which has since been colourised by the BBC – had originally been wiped from the broadcaster’s archive so the tape could be used for other programmes.
Gary Morecambe said the unearthed episode – which contains a sketch about a radio call-in challenge – represents “a golden era of television”, and he told BBC News that he was “staggered” when he received confirmation that the episode was salvageable.
“I didn’t realise at that point how far the BBC would go to present it,” Gary added.
“That it would then get colourised, which is fantastic, so it’s been brought bang up to date, and also what’s really good is the quality of the show itself, you can see the embryonic Morecambe and Wise come through.”
He continued: “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.”
The rediscovered episode will air on BBC Two at 7.45pm on Christmas Day.
Iceland is giving pensioners £30 food vouchers to help with cost of living crisis
Iceland is giving pensioners in Greater Manchester vouchers worth £30 to help with food and essentials amid the rising cost of living crisis.
With inflation now at a 40-year UK high and the rising cost of living crisis continuing to make it its impact felt nationwide, Iceland has partnered with The Rothesay Foundation to launch a new voucher scheme aimed at supporting pension-aged people following the release of findings from a shocking new study.
According to The Rothesay Foundation, research by Age UK showed that 1.7 million pensioners were living in poverty in 2020/2021 – which is 15% of all pensioners.
On top of that, it’s thought that more than 770,000 pensioner households- either single people, or couples – are also missing out on Pension Credit payments too, which are worth around £1.5 billion every year.
So to help lessen the financial burden, the discount supermarket retailer has now launched the Summer Cheer campaign with over £1 million of funding from the Rothesay Foundation to provide pensioners with a voucher worth £30 that can be used to buy food and essentials.
It’s expected to help around 40,000 pensioners across the UK save on their shopping.
The voucher scheme is running up until 16 September, and additionally, it can be used in conjunction with the 10% discount for people over 60 that’s already available every Tuesday with valid ID.
Iceland’s Summer Cheer £30 voucher scheme will be available at 269 shops in 17 areas across the UK where there are said to be the “highest numbers of pensioners living in material deprivation in the country,” according to The Rothesay Foundation – and Greater Manchester has been highlighted as one of those areas.
“Since the launch of the partnership last Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis has taken hold of the UK, and now more than ever, people are struggling to access the food they need,” explained Richard Walker – Managing Director of Iceland.
“No one should ever have to worry about how they are going to eat or drink, and we hope that the support we can offer across the UK will help pensioners access and enjoy a worry-free meal during this difficult time.”
Who is eligible? And how do I apply?
Those who are eligible to take advantage of the £30 discount voucher scheme up until 16 September are people of pension age who live independently or with a carer, and who rely solely on state pensions and benefits in the UK.
To claim the £30 voucher, those eligible should call the Summer Cheer hotline on 0800 098 7877 from 9am to 5pm between Monday and Friday.
UK told to brace for ‘worst’ wasp invasion in years as heatwave arrives
Brits are being told to brace for an invasion of wasps that could be the “worst for years” ahead of another expected heatwave.
With summer officially here, the sun shining, and temperatures set to get progressively hotter as the days go on, the Met Office is forecasting that another heatwave is set to arrive in the UK this week, and although we’re not likely to see record highs of 40°C again like we saw a couple of weeks ago, it is expected that this period of warm weather will stick around for longer.
Unfortunately though, with that warm weather is set to come an influx of wasps that pest controllers have already warned will likely be “sugar-crazed”.
The wasp population is known to fluctuate year on year dependent on the season and weather changes, and due what has been an increased numbers of the insects throughout the year already thanks to the warm weather, 2022 has been dubbed the ‘Year of the Wasp’.
Wasps build their nests during the spring in trees, attics, and sometimes underground, and this means that if there is bad weather, their homes stand higher risk of being destroyed which decimates their survival rates, however this year, the record-breaking high temperatures combined with less rainfall have instead given wasps the ideal environment to multiply.
Sebastien Pommereul – Manager of Stop Wasps – spoke to BFMTV and explained that: “This year, we are doing between 10 to 12 interventions a day.
“But last year, we were at five.”
Pest controllers say that later months of summer are when wasps can become “sugar-crazed”, as their larva grow into full sized wasps and they need to find a new source of energy – but this is unfortunately when many of us will be spending more time outside.
As well as warnings by pest controllers, medics have also issued fresh advice to those of us who end up unlucky enough to be stung by a wasp this summer, with the NHS stating: “Insect bites and stings will usually cause a red, swollen lump to develop on the skin. This may be painful and in some cases can be very itchy.
“The symptoms will normally improve within a few hours or days, although sometimes they can last a little longer.”
They say it’s vital to pluck out the stinger left in the flesh immediately as it’s packed with venom.
After removing the sting – which can be scraped away from the skin, but never with tweezers – it’s advised that you should wash the affected area with soap and water, reduce swelling by applying ice or a cold compress for up to 10 minutes, and avoid scratching the area to reduce the risk of infection.
The NHS website states: “Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else has symptoms of a severe reaction, as emergency treatment in hospital is needed in these cases.”