Revealed: These three Morecambe and Lancaster comic geniuses are among the North West's top 10
Eric Morecambe, Jon Richardson and Victoria Wood have made the list of the top 10 comedians from the North West.
Using primary search data, Blackpool Grand Theatre - the premier venue for shows in Blackpool, has researched the most successful comedians to come out of the North West, celebrating the rich comic history of the region.
From the classics and legends to the young guns of today, this list encapsulates the feel of what the North West has brought to the comedic industry over the years.
Flying the flag for Lancaster and Morecambe are Eric Morecambe Jon Richardson and Victoria Wood.
Jon was born and raised in Lancaster. After spending a year and a half at Bristol University, he decided that his course wasn’t for him and wanted to pursue his comic career. He lives with his wife and fellow comic Lucy Beaumont, and their daughter who was born in 2016. Most people know him from "8 Out Of 10 Cats (Does Countdown)", Jon Richardson: Ultimate Warrior and Meet The Richardsons.
Something you didn’t know: After leaving university, Jon ived with fellow comedian Russell Howard for a year in Bristol. He has performed at Blackpool Grand Theatre previously and his best one-liner is: “I don’t mean to hate people, I just get forced into it.”
Meanwhile, Eric Morecambe is most famous for his partnership with Ernie Wise, when together they formed the legendary comedy duo of Morecambe and Wise. HIs stage name has been used in the listing as it’s the one that most people will recognise, but his actual birth name is John Bartholemew. Eric chose his stage name from the Lancashire seaside town called Morecombe, where he grew up. He married Joan Barlett in 1952, and they had three children together called Gary, Stephen and Gail. You will know him from: Morecambe and Wise (the partnership lasted from 1941 – 1984).
Something you didn’t know: Eric was originally going to become a coal miner in 1944 to help with the final stages of the war efforts. Ernie was also conscripted, and joined the Navy in the same year. Eric's best one-liner: “My neighbour asked if he could use my lawnmower and I told him of course he could, so long as he didn’t take it out of my garden.”
Another comic legend who has made it in the North's top 10 list is former Morecambe resident Victoria Wood. Victoria began her career in comedy by appearing on television, as opposed to starting from a more live performance based beginning. New Faces, a talent show broadcast in 1974, kick-started Victoria's rise to stardom. The appearance quickly led her to star in many shows on both the BBC and ITV, which would continue for many years after. She has been appointed an OBE and CBE in 1997 and 2008 respectively. You will know her from: Dinnerladies, Eric and Ernie, Acorn Antiques. Something you didn’t know: Victoria was recognised in the ITV poll of the British public’s top 50 TV stars in 2006, finishing 10th.
Her best one-liner is: “I once went to one of those parties where everyone throws their car keys into the middle of the room. I don’t know who got my moped, but I’ve been driving that Peugeot for years.”
Andrew Howard, head of marketing and brand at Blackpool Grand, commented: “As a county and an area of England, Lancashire and the North West undoubtedly have some of the finest and funniest comics ever to have taken to the stage. Comedy is a clear indicator of cultural richness and heritage, and we have that in abundance.
"One of the saving graces of the last year and a half has been replaying some of the stand-up shows from comedians that we all love - live comedy really does have the knack of taking you away from a current situation, and making you forget all of your problems over a hearty laugh.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming comics, including a few in the list, back to Blackpool Grand Theatre, hopefully over the coming months and years once normality returns. We have always been proud supporters of local comedy, and we always look forward to seeing the next big talent emerge.”
The top 10 North West comedians are: