Five Minutes with...

Ian Ashpitel & Jonty Stephens as Eric & Ern

Theatr Clwyd are delighted to see the return of Eric & Ern to the stage. From the Olivier Award-nominated duo, Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens, this fabulous new show is crammed full of Morecambe and Wise’s most loved routines.

Tell us a little bit about how the show came about?

Ian: "It's all Jonty’s fault. He’s always been brilliant at impressions and has been a huge fan of Eric and Ern since he was a boy.”

Jonty: “We belong to The Stage Golfing Society and every year we do a show for our host club - Richmond.

"Some fool asked me to do Eric for the show and I said ‘Yes, but I’ll need a Little Ern’... I looked across the bar and there was Ian, with his hair and short fat hairy legs.”

Ian: “Initially I said no of course, ‘cos I think I look more like Robert Redford. No? Anyway, we did a five minute sketch for the show and it went down really well.

"Six years later they asked us to do it again, but this time we wrote some material in the style of Morecambe and Wise.”

Jonty: “It went down so well that everyone kept telling us you’ve got to do something with this.

"So that’s where the idea came from. It was then that we decided we would write a play."

Do you have a most memorable performance? Or a time where things didn’t quite go to plan?

The standing ovation on our first night in the West End at the Vaudeville theatre was one. And the Olivier Awards where we were pipped by a toad and rat from Wind in the Willows.

Nothing ever goes wrong and we never forget our lines and if you believe that you’ll believe anything!

Do you have favourite jokes or sketches form the shows?

Ian: "Cleopatra with Glenda Jackson saying 'All men are fools and what makes them so is having beauty like wot I have got'.”

Jonty: "A sketch called Mr Memory - “cough……Arsenal!!” Which then went onto to be a long running gag.

How was lockdown for you both?

To be honest we’d both been on the road for so long with the show it was nice to spend some time at home with our respective families.

However, that time has now passed and they are probably glad to see us get back to what we love doing - live theatre.

What’s it like to be performing live again?

There aren’t enough words to describe what it’s like for us coming back but thrilled, overjoyed, relieved and very, very happy are just a few.

• Ian Ashpitel & Jonty Stephens as Eric & Ern will take place at Theatr Clwyd on September 14-15. Tickets are £22.50. Booking available at or by calling the box office on 01352 344101.