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Eric Morecambe

The 20 greatest Erics of all time

To celebrate the arrival of eric, we wanted to honour the many great Erics that have gone before. After much deliberation from our panel, this is the top 20…

  • Erik Thorstvedt
    20Erik Thorstvedt, footballer
    Not quite the literal viking (as in he didn’t pillage coastal mediaeval villages – as far as we know), but was known as ‘Erik the Viking’ among the Tottenham Hotspur faithful. Before Peter Schmeichel came along, it was this guy who made a name for Scandinavian keepers. Ninety-seven caps for Norway and so 90s we just had to include him.
  • Eric the Cavalier
    19Eric the Cavalier, knight
    Perhaps a controversial choice as he wasn’t the dashing hero despite his heroic name. Cocky Eric of Dungeons and Dragons fame was renowned for complaining and being sarcastic. The sarcasm we admire, plus he gives us an excuse for a bit of cartoon nostalgia.
  • Eric Burdon
    18Eric Burdon, singer
    The Newcastle-born lead singer of The Animals, the band responsible for an array of hit singles including House of the Rising Sun, Don’t Bring Me Down and We Gotta Get out of this Place. Also ranked by Rolling Stone in the list of greatest singers, which is no mean feat.
  • Erik Estrada
    17Erik Estrada, actor
    The coolest bike cop of the late-70s and 80s, Erik played the role of ‘Ponch’ Poncherello in the TV series CHiPs (which, in case you don’t remember, stood for California Highway Patrol – hence lower case ‘i’). One of the greatest wearers of sunglasses of all time.
  • Erik the Red
    16Erik the Red, viking
    A lot of Scandinavian warriors just missed out – Erik was a bit of a ‘go to’ name for viking mothers – but this red-bearded viking was a nasty piece of work, and also settled Greenland, so we didn’t want to upset him.
  • puppet
    15(Flat) Eric, puppet
    Some would say his achievements should be credited to Jim Henson (his creator), French artist Mr Oizo or Levi’s, who made him famous, but we reckon he carried all three of them.


  • Eric Bana
    14Eric Bana, actor
    Of the few actors in contention (Roberts, Julia’s brother; Stoltz, aka Rocky Dennis), we plumped for Bana because he’s played the Hulk, a serious warrior-type in Troy, and we quite liked him in Black Hawk Down and Chopper.
  • Eric Marlon
    13Eric Marlon Bishop, actor/singer
    Aka Jamie Foxx. Why he didn’t stick with Eric is beyond us, but Jamie’s done alright for himself nonetheless. Highlight from our point of view is definitely Django Unchanged (some argued for his 1992 role in Toys), but apparently his music career has earnt him a few quid too.
  • Eric Schmidt
    12Eric Schmidt, business
    To prove this list isn’t just an over-indulgent list created to get people talking about Erics, this is a proper, serious, entry. Schmidt spent a decade as CEO of the internet (Google). Had a neat sideline in Apple for a while too, and is worth enough money to buy a planet or two.
  • Eric Cartman
    11Eric Cartman, school kid
    Still on the serious stuff, the character of Eric in South Park made some huge statements about American society, prompting us all to think carefully about the way we live our lives. Nah, not really, he’s grossly obese, swears a lot and is thoroughly unpleasant. But he’s funny.
  • Eric Carle
    10Eric Carle, author
    The man responsible for one of the best-loved children’s books of all time, The Hungry Caterpillar. Most stories of gluttony end badly, but not this one. This caterpillar actually ended up even more beautiful.
  • Eric Sykes
    09Eric Sykes, actor/writer/director
    Worked with the biggest names of his time, Peter Sellars, Spike Milligan, Tommy Cooper, Tony Hancock et al, either alongside or writing for. Served in World War II and once shared a flat with Milligan, Sykes led an incredible life with his achievements earning him a CBE.
  • Eric Idle
    08Eric Idle, entertainment genius
    Penning Always Look on the Bright Side of Life would be enough, but actor, comedian, writer, singer-songwriter Idle has a ridiculous amount of achievements to his name. Monty Python, Nuns on the Run, Rutland Weekend Television, Wind and the Willows (as Ratty) and The Transformers: The Movie (Wreck-Gar) are our favourites.
  • Eric Moussambani
    07Eric the Eel, athlete
    The Equatorial Guinea Olympic legend. Apparently, God loves a trier, which must make Sydney 2000 swimmer Eric Moussambani his favourite. Just months after learning to swim, he was at the Olympics completing the slowest 100m freestyle of all time. A household name.
  • Eric Wimp
    06Eric Wimp, superhero alter ego
    So well-known that many of us know his address (29 Acacia Road for those who don’t), because ‘when Eric eats a banana, an amazing transformation occurs. Eric is Bananaman’. Not the most intelligent of superheroes, but definitely among the most loveable.
  • Eric Clapton
    05Eric Clapton, rock star
    Widely recognised as the second greatest guitarist of all time (Hendrix being No.1), either with the Yardbirds, Cream or on his own, Clapton’s status as a global rock hero is unquestionable. So good, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, twice with bands, once on his own.
  • Eric Cantona
    04Eric Cantona, footballer/actor/philosopher
    Sneaking controversially ahead of Clapton, but then Manchester United’s French hero has never been one to shy away from controversy. Philosopher, actor, footballer. Aside from kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan, he almost single-handedly kick-started a football legacy that would last for over two decades.
  • Eric Morecambe
    03Eric Morecambe, comedian
    Technically a John. But as Eric was at least a middle name, he passed our stringent eligibility rules. One half of the most famous comedy duo of all-time, Morecambe and Wise, at their peak an incredible 27million people tuned in to see them in 1977. Not bad, eh?
  • Eric Liddell
    02Eric Liddell, athlete
    Chariots of Fire, the greatest sporting film of all time (another list, another time), was inspired by this man. The son of a missionary, born in China, and Scotland’s greatest-ever sporting hero. A Scotland rugby international, but focused on running. Chose God over the Olympic 100m and instead smashed the 400m and became a legend.
  • Eric Arthur Blair
    01Eric Arthur Blair, author
    More commonly known as George Orwell. His political novel Animal Farm – based on Stalin – and which later was the basis of the eponymous animated film is arguably one of the most famous books of the 20th century. Nineteen Eighty-Four is similarly famed for its glimpse into a grim future ruled by ‘Big Brother’.

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