Eric Morecambe”s widow burgled as she unveils statue of him


Relatives fear burglars targeted Joan Bartholomew after discovering on social media when she would be away.

As she was celebrating the sculpture of the famous comedy duo in Blackpool, they raided her home 200 miles away.

The break-in was discovered when Mrs Bartholomew returned the next day. 

Prized jewellery and watches worth thousands of pounds were stolen. 

Mrs Bartholomew unveiled the 8ft-tall statue of Morecambe and Wise on Friday – an event advertised on social media.

Her son Gary is convinced thieves knew the family home in Harpenden, Herts, would be empty. 

He said: “There wasn’t masses of damage. My mum is a very realistic person. She doesn’t like to make herself a victim. It’s just the way it is. 

“I guess that’s the power of social media. They must have known she was away.”

Mr Bartholomew added that the break-in had not soured his mother’s delight at seeing the new statue of her late husband. 

It was created by Graham Ibbeson, who also sculpted the statue of the comedian in Morecambe, where he grew up.

Britain’s best-loved comedy double act first appeared on stage together in Blackpool in 1941. 

Mrs Bartholomew, 89, said after the unveiling at the Winter Gardens: “The statue is simply wonderful. Graham has really captured Eric and Ernie to perfection. 

“For it to be unveiled here in Blackpool, where I personally have so many happy memories of Eric and Ernie and our families together down the years, is very fitting.

“This has been a really special day I will remember for ever.” 

Eric Morecambe was born John Eric Bartholomew in 1926. In 1940, he met Ernest Wiseman at a revue in Nottingham. 

They became a double act, later adopting the stage names Morecambe and Wise. He died of a heart attack in 1984, aged 58.

Ernie Wise died in 1999 after a triple heart bypass. The duo performed in Blackpool more than 1,000 times.