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Over The Moon ... Sick As A Parrot

Hutchinson/Stanley Paul, London, 1982
(price: £3.95)

The blurb on the back:

Arriving in Spain three months early for the World Cup, the internationally famous comedian Eric Morecambe is cornered is cornered in his Bilbao holiday hotel room by a photojournalist on Spain's most widely read magazine, ¡Olé!, and grilled on football and other key issues of our time. Reproduced here for the first time in full, this photographic interview with one of England's funniest men adds up to a riotous tour-de-force.

Refusing to risk the only two words of Spanish he knows, the Vice-President of Luton Football Club acts out his replies to his interrogator's questions, quick-changing from one holiday ensemble to another to suit his mood - from string vest to the England football strip, from roomy shorts to rented flamenco jacket. Floored by Eric's superior knowledge of football, the interviewer moves on to wider issues of the day - food, drink, women, art, the Common Market, Des O'Connor ...

Shielding and sometimes shielded by a dazzling and mysterious brunette, Eric reveals his highly individual views on everything from foreigners to foul play with characteristic charm and more than enough eccentricity to demoralize his Spanish inquisitor.

Whether you are 'Over the moon' or 'Sick as a parrot' when the World Cup comes to an end, you will treasure this book as a marvellous comic memento of an epic event.

Credited to Eric Morecambe, the small print inside this book adds a bit more detail: 'devised and written by Roddy Bloomfield'. Why it exists transcends my understanding. Essentially it's thirty-odd photographs of Eric in a variety of costumes and poses and ... er, that's it. There's more text on the back of the book than in the rest of it put together, it's not funny and it has virtually nothing to do with football.

It is, however, the godlike Eric Morecambe, so I'm prepared to forgive it everything.

Eric Morecambe
Eric Morecambe