August 1, 1979: Ernie Wise opening the Coral Bingo Hall at Seacroft, Leeds finds himself upstaged by 65-year-old Amy Larkin.
Ernie, who died in March 1999 aged 73, was one half of the famous comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, who became an institution, noted especially for their Christmas shows, which usually featured a host of showbiz names.
He was born in Bramley, Leeds, the eldest of five children and attended Thorpe Infant and Junior School. His father, Harry, a rail lamp man, was a part-time singer and Ernie followed him onto the stage, appearing alongside one another several times. Ernie then struck out on his own and was spotted by an agent and in 1940, he met Eric Morecambe, who at that time was known as Eric Bartholomew. Their first appearance was as ‘Bartholonew and Wise’ but they then toyed with the idea of using their respective birthplaces, which would have seen them called ‘Morecambe and Leeds’ but they thought this sounded too much like a ‘cheap day return’ and so settled on Morecambe and Wise instead.