Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise used to carry around clippings of the reviews from their first TV series as a reminder that they needed to do better. So the story goes. One said ‘the definition of TV: the box they buried Morecambe and Wise in last night’ – or words to that effect.
Running Wild was the show, which aired fortnightly in April and May of 1954. On its off weeks, Panorama was broadcast instead.
Here’s a review of the first show, by James Thomas, that appeared in the London Daily News on April 22nd.
Pretty scathing, but it reserves its ire for the production, not the cast, noting that Eric and Ernie are much better than the scripts they have been given.
A similar sentiment was epxressed the same day in the Daily Record.
This distinction though, escaped Emery Pearce in the Daily Herald.