New Morecambe and Wise bronze sculpture steals show at London exhibition

A miniature version of the planned Morecambe and Wise wall art on display in the Lavery Room, South Kensington. Picture by Simon Hildrew.

A miniature version of the planned Morecambe and Wise wall art on display in the Lavery Room, South Kensington. Picture by Simon Hildrew.

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A mini bronze sculpture of our town’s favourite comedy duo took centre stage at a London exhibition by the creator of the Eric Morecambe Statue.

The maquette of Morecambe and Wise had pride of place at Graham Ibbeson’s ‘Art of Comedy’ display in the Lavery Room, South Kensington.

Graham Ibbeson with 'the boot' at the Art of Comedy exhibition. Picture by Simon Hildrew.

Graham Ibbeson with 'the boot' at the Art of Comedy exhibition. Picture by Simon Hildrew.

Also on show was a sculpture of Eric’s boot, based on the standing foot left behind after the statue was vandalised in October 2014.

The private exhibition was held partly to raise funds for a larger-sized version of the Eric and Ernie frieze.

It was attended by members of Eric’s family and Bob Golding, the TV and West End actor who played the late comic in a one-man touring stage show.

Graham said: “The exhibition brought a lot of goodwill towards the project and we made a lot of great contacts, it was really positive.”

Actor Bob Golding, who played Eric Morecambe on the stage, Gail Stuart, daughter of Eric Morecambe, with Graham Ibbeson at the sculptor's Art of Comedy exhibition. Photo by Simon Hildrew.

Actor Bob Golding, who played Eric Morecambe on the stage, Gail Stuart, daughter of Eric Morecambe, with Graham Ibbeson at the sculptor's Art of Comedy exhibition. Photo by Simon Hildrew.

Aside from the boot and the Eric and Ernie artwork, Graham also exhibited an original sketch of the Eric Morecambe statue, a fibreglass version of the statue itself, a lifesize Laurel and Hardy, a Benny Hill, a portrait of Les Dawson, a small maquette of Norman Wisdom, a working study of the Morecambe and Wise wall art, and a series of prototypes of the Eric statue which were held in storage by The Visitor for safekeeping until we returned them to Graham last year.

“People went into the room and it took their breath away,” he said.

“We think we’ve secured a buyer for ‘the boot’ and we sold a life-size version of Eric, and some drawings. Everybody loved the idea of the ‘wall relief’, including Ernie Wise’s solicitor. Gail (Eric’s daughter) was there every day. It was a good atmosphere.”

A second exhibition has now been secured at a major London banking chain.

A campaign is running to raise £70,000 for Graham to create a large-scale, free-standing Morecambe and Wise monument in the resort where Eric was born. The aim is to reunite Eric and Ernie next summer in time for the 75th anniversary of their first gig as a comedy duo, which was also when Eric first took the name ‘Morecambe’.