Mr Cadman, business partner of the statue’s sculptor Graham Ibbeson, said the “galvanising effect the attack has had in the local community and nationwide has been truly inspirational. There seems to be a great willingness to use this as a springboard for a way of further celebrating Eric’s memory and the joy he brought to his millions of fans.”
It is hard to believe today, but their 1977 Christmas special was watched by over 27 million people, more than half the UK population at that time. Even the Queen herself is believed to have tuned in to what by then had become a British Institution. It is with this in mind that the people of Morecambe want to achieve a lasting legacy for Morecambe’s favourite son.
If it gets funding, which Mr Cadman said would come from independent sources and fundraising events such as a celebrity auction and a variety show, Eric Morecambe Day could be celebrated in July 2015. No completion date was given for the plan for a “life-size bronze wall relief of Eric and Ernie” on the town’s promenade. The ideas have been backed by Eric’s son Gary, who said they were “in a word, fantastic, and in two words, really fantastic. We all love the idea of an Eric Morecambe Day and the family will make sure one or more of us is there to celebrate with the people of Morecambe.”
The vandalised statue, which was unveiled in 1999 by the Queen, will be repaired and reinstated, with the costs paid by Lancaster City Council and its insurers. A man has been detained under the Mental Health Act following the attack.