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ERNIE DIES SINGING SUNSHINE; SO BRAVE: COMIC CONVINCED FAMILY TO JOIN IN LAST CHORUS OF THEME TUNE.

COMIC genius Ernie Wise sang Bring Me Sunshine in his final hours, it was revealed yesterday.

Relatives and friends joined the 73-year-old in the famous Morecambe and Wise theme as he lay on his death bed.

Ernie, the greatest straight man in comedy, died early yesterday from heart problems.

His wife of 46 years, Doreen, said: "I knew when I woke up and it was raining that the sunshine had gone out of my life."

Ernie's agent Jim Kennedy added: "Right to the end, he was brave in heart and spirit. He never lost that twinkle of magic in his eyes. He was singing Bring Me Sunshine with us at his bedside."

Messages poured in last night as stars and friends paid tribute to Ernie's role in Britain's best comedy double act.

For 43 years he entertained generations as Eric Morecambe's straight man and at the height of their success the show pulled in 27million viewers.

Ernie took ill on holiday in Florida earlier this year and underwent heart surgery.

He flew back to Britain just two weeks ago and Doreen had hoped he would be out of hospital and home for Easter.
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Author:Shields, Bob
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 22, 1999
Words:193
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