‘Eric Morecambe would see the funny side’ says chauffeur

Mike Fountain, Eric Morecambe's long time chauffeur.
Mike Fountain, Eric Morecambe's long time chauffeur.

The comedian’s long-time chauffeur and friend visited the statue site on Sunday and found an atmosphere almost of mourning.

Mike Fountain said: “It was strange – like Eric had died all over again.

“There were people coming up and taking photos, feeling sad and being reverent about it.

“But nobody has died. It’s only a statue. Eric would see the funny side of it.

“Then again, it is iconic to Morecambe, and people have got to like it.”

Mike, who worked for Eric as his personal driver from 1968 until his death in 1984, said his first reaction when he heard about the attack on the statue was one of outrage.

But he said “attitudes have softened” since he realised the culprit had mental health issues.

He said: “Let’s now just get it back as soon as possible. People miss it.”

Mike also said he felt there should be a “second unveiling” of the statue once it is repaired.

The original ceremony in 1999 pulled thousands into Morecambe and was attended by the Queen and the late TV personality Sir Robin Day, as well as Eric’s family.

Mike said actor Bob Golding, who played Eric Morecambe in the ITV biopic of Tommy Cooper and in a touring one-man stage show across the UK, has already pledged his support for such an event.

Mike said: “I mentioned it to Bob on the phone and he said he’d be up for it.”