(via No laughing matter as Eric Morecambe’s statue vandalised - Telegraph)
What would Eric Morecambe say? Probably that he didn’t have a leg to stand on.
A 32-year-old man was arrested in the Lancashire town of Morecambe yesterday after an attempt was made to steal a statue of the town’s most famous son - by sawing through its leg.
Police were called to Marine Road Central following reports that the statue of Eric Morecambe had been damaged in an attempt to steal it.
The statue, which has now been removed to repair the damage, took sculptor Graham Ibbeson six years to complete and captured the comedian in his famous pose, with one hand raised and a leg cocked.
The theme tune of the Morecambe and Wise TV show, Bring Me Sunshine, was played over loudspeakers as thousands of fans attended the unveiling of the statue by the Queen in 1999. and the statue has been a popular tourist attraction ever since, with many posing for photographs next to it in the same Bring Me Sunshine pose.
The comic, born John Eric Bartholomew, was born in Morecambe in 1926 and used his home town for his stage surname. He died on May 28, 1984 after collapsing on stage with a heart attack.
Speaking at the unveiling of the statue, his widow Joan said: “I think Eric would have been staggered. You think in terms of buildings or streets being named after you, but a statue? Not for a comic.”
For Morecambe’s admirers the vandalism of his statue is no laughing matter.
The British Comedy Society tweeted: “We’re very distressed to hear this news. What an awful thing to have happened,” while the official Morecambe FC Twitter feed said: “Unbelievable that the Eric Morecambe statue has been vandalised. Let’s get him back where he belongs.”
Only the statue’s standing foot remains after the rest of it was placed face down in the back of a council van and driven away for repairs.
Mark Cullinan, chief executive of Lancaster City Council, said: “When we got to the site it was clear someone had sawed through most of Eric’s leg and then left him like that. When we inspected it we knew we couldn’t repair it at the site.
“We’re removing him in a van and taking him to a safe and secure place, and will work with the sculptor to get him back as soon as possible.”
Sgt John Bond said: “We are in the early stages of our investigation and I would urge anyone who may have seen what happened or has any information to get in touch with police.”