Laurence Marcus

Eric and Ernie had high hopes of breaking into the fresh new medium of television -they felt that they were 'right' for it. So when the critics slaughtered 'Running Wild' their confidence took quite a battering. At the end of the run of six fortnightly shows they returned to the stage to do what they did best - perform in front of a live audience.
On the 25th December 1977 over 28 million people tuned in to a television show that had become a national institution. As much a part of Christmas as the Queen's Speech, Turkey and Plum Pudding, Morecambe and Wise's Christmas Day Special was an event not to be missed. Like most success stories this kind of adoration didn't come overnight. In Morecambe and Wise's case took more than thirty years of hard work, setbacks and refining their act to evolve a style that was quite unique. An act that twelve years after the death of Eric Morecambe, had television viewers voting for them as the Best Light Entertainment Performers of all time. This is their story...
Sid James 22.

© Words Laurence Marcus


Tony Hancock had been appearing in just such a radio, 'All-Star Bill', when the series producer, Roy Speer was taken ill. His replacement, Dennis Main Wilson, unhappy with the shows content, enlisted the writing talents of two relatively unknown, but talented newcomers, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Then in 1953, Galton and Simpson, knowing that the BBC were anxious to give Hancock his own starring vehicle, came up with the concept of a rather pompous character who would hold court in a bed-sit somewhere in London. The show would be centred around the character's hopes and misadventures, and would star other comedians but be devoid of catchphrases, silly voices or musical numbers.
/Sid James 1.j

© Words Laurence Marcus.
With his battered features, wicked leer and possibly the most recognisable laugh in show business, Sid James appeared to the world as a streetwise Cockney ex-heavyweight boxer, an image that he actively encouraged because he knew that it would endear him to millions of fans worldwide. But Sid was no more an East End boy than he was a fighter. "Nobody could ever think of me as a star, " Sid once said. " All I can do is play myself." But being 'himself' was all he needed, because Sid James was loved by millions worldwide, and when he tragically died on stage at the Sunderland Empire on 26th April 1976, the world lost a unique talent.
Saturday, 15 February 2014 12:51

Dave Allen Part Two of Two

/Dave Allen 20.j

© Words Laurence Marcus.

When the series was screened on BBC2 the critics heaped praise on it finding David's story-telling hilarious and the new technique of using the filmed sequences an exciting innovation. In spite of Dave Allen's reputation for controversial material this first series took great pains to avoid anything crude or vulgar. True, he did take a side-swipe at religion and other sacred subjects but the only complaint that the first show had was not from a viewer.
Sunday, 02 February 2014 14:14

Dave Allen Part One of Two

Dave Allen 1

© Words Laurence Marcus.
David Tynan O'Mahony was born on 6th July 1936 in Dublin. He later changed his name to Dave Allen on advice from his agent who felt that his given name was 'unpronounceable'. However, that didn't hold back other members of the O'Mahony family of whom his grandmother, Nora O'Mahony edited Freeman's Journal, a publication that could boast W.B. Yeats among it's contributors, and his cousin, Eoin O'Mahony, a respectable barrister and something of a wandering scholar, who was affectionately given the nickname of 'The Pope', because one day when he was asked what he wanted to be -that's what he replied.
Saturday, 18 January 2014 16:23

Harry H. Corbett

Harry H Corbett 1.

© Words Laurence Marcus.

Born on 28th February, 1925, in Rangoon, Burma, the son of a British Army officer, Harry Corbett was only three when his mother died and he was sent back to England to be raised by an aunt in Wythenshawe, Manchester. Corbett first showed an interest in the theatre when, as a child, he was taken to the Manchester Opera House to see the comedian Leslie Henson.

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ZANI was conceived in late 2008 and the fan base gradually grew by word of mouth. Key contributors came from those of the music, film and fashion industry and the voice of ZANI grew louder. So, when in 2013 investor, contributor and fan of ZANI Alan McGee* offered his support to help restyle and relaunch the site it was inevitable that traffic would increase dramatically and continues to grow. *Alan McGee co-founder of Creation Records and new label 359 Music..

 

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ZANI is an independent online magazine for readers interested in contemporary culture, covering Music, Film & TV, Sport, Art amongst other cultural topics. Relevant to modern times ZANI is a dynamic website and a flagship for creative movement and thinking wherever our readers live in the world.