Seaside Stars: Good, clean family fun

Eric Sykes (centre) with Charlie Drake (left) and Max Bygraves on St Annes Old Links.

Eric Sykes (centre) with Charlie Drake (left) and Max Bygraves on St Annes Old Links.

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GOOD, clean and laughable humour at its best, a treat for all the family...

That is how The Gazette summed up The Eric Sykes Show at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, Blackpool in 1977.

The twice-nightly entertainment, a spin-off of the TV sitcom, also starred Hattie Jacques and Deryck Guyler.

On opening night when three elderly ladies arrived late, pushing past Blackpool’s mayor to get to their third row seats, Eric shouted from the stage: “What time do you call this? Never mind my loves, we’ll start again just for you.”

And that’s just what they did.

Of his “sitcom life” Eric, who died last Wednesday, aged 89, told The Gazette: “The characters live in a time when there was order in the world – it was a good age, the sun used to shine and there was law and order. People have got to respect the law, so there must be greater deterrents for law breakers. This country could be the finest in the world, but we have to revert back to law and order.”

Other appearances included a 1986 Grand season with Les Dawson in Ray Cooney’s Run For Your Wife; and three visits with Big Bad Mouse, co-starring Jimmy Edwards, at the Ashton Theatre, St Annes in 1970.

Our picture, dating back to 1960, is also taken in St Annes, with Eric enjoying a round of golf at Old Links with fellow comedians Charlie Drake and Max Bygraves.