Morecambe and Wise's Christmas Special (1975)
With Diana Rigg. Included sword fighting in the Great Hall, and the coach and horses drawing up outside the Castle with the fake arm doing the "royal wave" inside the carriage door.
Broughton Castle has seen a number of skirmishes – but nothing like the sword duel fought on the steps of the great hall on Monday.
Charles II, complete with gaiters, bloomers and bare ankles, tussled with the notorious gossip writer of the 16th century, Samuel Pepys.
But behind the curly wigs and the frilly blouses were the familiar knees and glasses of Eric Morecambe and his short fat friend, Ernie Wise.
And to add glamour to the scene, Eric's buxom mistress Nell Gwynne was there in the shapely form of Diana Rigg. The BBC were using the Castle to film part of the Morecambe and Wise special Christmas show – which always tops the viewing rates.
"It's one of the most expensive shows produced by the BBC," said Eric. "You see, we don't come cheap and it takes four weeks to complete."
The cameras started rolling in the bitter cold on Monday morning – but the entire crew were held up when a removal van drove up in front of the castle to take away a piano.
"This would happen this morning," said producer Ernest Maxim as his crew helped the removal man.
Shots were taken of the outside of the castle with Eric and Diana drawing up in a horse-drawn carriage – hastily followed by Ernie. "It's a fabulous house," said Eric, "they don't build council houses like this any more."
A sword fight and a dance sequence were filmed inside the great hall. Filming took two days – and will result in about three minutes of the entire show.
Diana Rigg is a guest on the show. Ernie said: "She is a fan of ours – and we are delighted she is filming with us. We picked the coldest day of the year, though, and like everyone in the team, she is feeling the cold."
While they were at Broughton, Eric and Ernie stayed at the Whately Hall Hotel and Eric also enjoyed some meals at the Saye and Sele Arms. "I had a flagon of cider, onion soup and a ploughman's lunch – it was great and kept the cold out," he said.
Britain's top comedy team Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wis were joined by ex-Avenger girl Diana Rigg at Broughton Castle on Monday and Tuesday for the filming of final scenes in their Christmas comedy show.
Eric plays King Charles II, and Ernie Samuel Pepys in "the best sketch what I ever wrote" to quote Ernie. Diana, who is an accomplished actress in her own right joins a long list of talented personalities who have been on the show "to be freely insulted" by the comedians.
"Let's face it, that's our type of humour," said Eric, who kept the technicians in stitches throughout rehearsals, and then went on during the evening at the Whately Hall Hotel, where he and Ernie, and the crew were staying to amuse anyone who happened to be around.
The show is produced by Ernest Maxin, who married Banbury girl Leigh Madison, 15 years ago.
The excerpts are copyright to their authors and publications, The Banbury Guardian and The Banbury Cake. The images are from Lady Saye's private collection. The picture reproduced from the feature in the Banbury Guardian was photographed by Harry Rhodes.