Eric and Ernie bringing sunshine and memories to the Grand Theatre in Blackpool

Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel with the Eric and Ernie statue at Winter Gardens
Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel with the Eric and Ernie statue at Winter Gardens
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You can expect more than  just sunshine this weekend at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool as An Evening of Eric and Ern takes place as a homage to the iconic comedy duo.

Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens play the parts of Ernie Wise and Eric Morecambe respectively and the show promises to be crammed full of renditions of those famous comedy sketches.

The pair will be appearing on Sunday and Monday at the Grand Theatre

The pair will be appearing on Sunday and Monday at the Grand Theatre

Evoking memories of times when whole families would huddle around the telly on Sunday evenings, the opening of the four-month tour takes place in Blackpool and Ian describes the resort as Morecambe and Wise’s second home and believes they will be special performances at the Grand.

Ian, who is from Lea in Manchester, said: “I was formerly a red coat at the Metropole Hotel and I can remember coming to see Eric and Ernie in 1963 at the Winter Gardens with my mum.

“Blackpool holds a special place in my heart and I’m sure it did with the men themselves so it’s a real honour to perform here.”

The pair met as students at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama in 1983 and have remained best friends ever since.

The duo first performed professionally as Britain’s best loved comedy double act more than five years ago in the Olivier nominated West End hit ‘Eric and Little Ern’ which was also written by the pair.

Jonty, who hails from the Midlands, is also looking forward to performing in Blackpool after visiting the resort every year as a youngster to see the illuminations.

He believes the appeal of the show is it being for all of the family, no matter the age.

He said: “I think a lot of people believe they are in the company of Eric and Ernie and you can see the love for them in the crowd whilst performing.

“There is a real emotional connection to them and I think a lot of people miss that sort of comedy.

“It’s also great that people bring their children and grandchildren who won’t know who Eric and Ernie are, but leave as fans.

“If you like Morecambe and Wise I’m sure you will love the show.

Jonty and Ian posed for photos at the Morecambe and Wise statue in the Winter Gardens.

They visited the entertainment complex before the statue came to fruition in order the promote fundraising.

From Greig’s Piano concerto to Mr Memory, “Arsenal!” the show is full of Morecambe and Wise’s most loved routines, songs and sketches and of course a musical guest.

An Evening Of Eric and Ern appears at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool on September 1 and 2.

Contact (01253) 290190 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk to book tickets.