Morecambe and Wise: Missing 1970 episode to be broadcast on BBC – how to watch

Andre Previn stars in hilarious Morecambe and Wise sketch

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BBC Two is confirmed to be airing a newly rediscovered episode of the comedy duo’s classic sketch show this week. Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise will be back on screens as usual on Christmas Day, this time in archive footage which was first broadcast over 50 years ago.

The rediscovered episode dates back all the way to 1970, but the tape was sadly wiped by the BBC.

Now, the 45-minute episode will finally see the light of day again over the festive period.

BBC Two have revealed the lost episode is set to air at 7.45pm on Christmas Day.

The new footage is also expected to hit the Beeb’s streaming service BBC iPlayer shortly afterward.

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Plus, the archive footage has been recolourised to suit modern HD tellies.

Thought to have been wiped so the expensive BBC tape could be reused, Eric Morecambe’s son Gary finally managed to retrieve another copy.

He revealed he found the tape during a recent scrummage in the attic.

During a search for old scripts in the family’s Hertfordshire home, he stumbled across seven unlabelled canisters.

“Six of them had virtually nothing of interest on them,” he told BBC News.

“And then the last one, which had part of a BBC sticker on it, had a show which had been presumed as lost.”

He recalled: “But it wasn’t [lost], it was there.”

Gary’s discovery turned out to be a major milestone from his father Eric and his comedy partner’s career.

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The lost episode was actually the first the pair made for BBC One after moving over from BBC Two on October 8 1970.

Gary was understandably shocked when the contents of the unmarked canister was revealed.

He continued: “But I didn’t realise at that point how far the BBC would go to present it.

“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.”

The comedy double act hosted 175 shows during their 22 years on screens, and their headline series has become staple family viewing at Christmas.

Tune in to BBC Two on Christmas Day for the new special, and plenty more episodes will be repeated throughout the festive period.

Morecambe and Wise: The Lost Tapes airs 7:45pm on Christmas Day on BBC Two.

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