Bringing sunshine to flood victims

Bringing sunshine to flood victims

Francis Batt

Bringing sunshine to flood victims

A casual joke has inspired actors Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens into recreating Morecambe and Wise's famous Bring Me Sunshine theme song - in a bid to raise money for flood victims in the Royal Borough.

Ian and Jonty are touring the country recreating their West End triumph in the show Eric and Little Ern, in which they recreate moments from the legendary pair's life and double act.

They will be at Windsor's Theatre Royal between March 13 and 15. But the fundraising idea came to them back in January when they had done their show at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Altwood Road, Maidenhead.

They drove past an area of the town already beginning to flood.

Ian said: "Jonty joked that they needed Bring Me Sunshine. As weeks went by and the flooding became worse that joke formed the germ of an idea."

On Wednesday, February 26 the two appeared live on DJ Mike Read's Radio Berkshire show - on which they re-recorded Bring Me Sunshine at the Outhouse Studios, Reading with the country’s leading swing band The Jive Aces. 

The record has still to be mixed but will be online in a few days and available to download - with money raised going to help flood victims in and around the Royal Borough.

Ian and Jonty have known each other 30 years since drama school. Their Morecambe and Wise act started as a party piece done for friends - but after it took the Edinburgh Festival by storm, it ended up in the West End.

Ian said: "Jonty is a brilliant impressionist. If you close your eyes it could be Eric. I don't look a bit like Ernie apart from the short, fat hairy legs."

Collections for flood victims will be taken at the Theatre Royal while their show is on.

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