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his gags The gags what he wrote; ERIC AND ERNIE'S WRITER EDDIE BRABEN DIES AT 82.

Byline: John Dingwall

EDDIE Braben - the comedy writer who put Morecambe and Wise in bed together - has died. He was 82.

Braben was key to Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise's massive TV success in the 1970s.

But he also wrote for Ken Dodd, David Frost, Ronnie Corbett and BBC radio comedy Round the Horne.

The Liverpudlian died yesterday morning after a short illness.

He first worked with Eric and Ernie in 1969 at the suggestion of BBC head of TV light entertainment Bill Cotton.

Braben reworked their act. He brought more of their off-screen relationship into their show - exaggerating it for comic effect and having them share a bed.

Yesterday, Sir Bruce Forsyth called him the "third man of the comedy".

He added: "I wish I could have been doing the kind of shows he had written.

"His jokes and style of writing will be sorely missed in the business."

Morecambe and Wise's BBC Christmas shows were must-see events.

However, the pressure to top each year's Christmas special, which featured big numbers such as BBC newsreaders high-stepping through a There Is Nothing Like a Dame routine, took a toll on Braben's health.

Speaking to comedian Miranda Hart for a documentary in March this year, Braben said: "The Morecambe and Wise Show became more important than Christmas.

"The real pressure came when I was sat in front of that typewriter with all those blank pages and there was a deadline and there was nothing happening.

"That's when you realised there were 20million or 25million people looking over your shoulder - all saying 'Make me laugh'."

Although he kept the burden to himself, Braben admitted that he did "pay a price with health".

Braben also wrote for Seaside Special, Les Dawson and Mike Yarwood in the 70s and 80s. He wrote and performed The Show with Ten Legs and The Show with No Name on BBC radio.

In 2001, Braben collaborated with Hamish McColl and Sean Foley on the Olivier award-winning The Play What I Wrote, a tribute to the relationship between Morecambe, Wise and himself and a joke on the screen Ernie's many failed manuscripts.

His autobiography The Book What I Wrote was published in 2004.

Braben is survived by his wife Dee, three children and six grandchildren.

"I'm playing the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order" - Eric puts 'Mr Preview' rightEric and Ernie do their themed own breakfast- version of The Stripper


MAIN MAN Z Braben, centre, made Ernie, left and Eric, right, huge with his gags
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:May 22, 2013
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