Eric Morley

                                The History of Miss World
                                In the last half-century, 
                                the world's No. 1 pageant has enjoyed its
                                fair share of ups and downs.

                                It all started way back in 1951 as part of that year's Festival of
                                Britain celebrations. Officially titled the "Festival Bikini Contest," it
                                was the British press who dubbed it "Miss World."

                                The media frenzy welcomed a global audience bigger than
                                international events like the World Cup and the Olympic Games.
                                Fifty years later, it attracts an annual audience of 2.5 billion

                                Founder Eric Morley, a former bingo hall manager, originally
                                intended the contest to be a one-time event. But when the Miss
                                Universe Pageant entered the equation the following year, he
                                decided to make his show an annual one. For Eric and his wife,
                                Julia, it then became a life's work and passion. Here's a brief look
                                at the history of the pageant over the years.
                                The amazing Eric Morley
                                Eric Morley was loved and revered by a
                                great many people, from the most
                                famous to the most humble. He touch
                                all their lives and made a difference to
                                so many. Here are just some of the
                                landmarks in the remarkable life,
                                together with a few of the many warm
                                tributes that have been received.

                                'Eric Morley was a 'one-off'. People like
                                this can never be replaced. We just
                                have to be grateful that we knew him as
                                a friend.' Wilnelia and Bruce Forsyth.

                                The BBC televised Miss World from 1959
                                to 1979 and Thames Television carried if
                                from 1980 to 1988. At its peak, the show
                                drew an audience of 27.5 million in
                                Britain alone, comparable to a royal

                                'Eric was a giant of a man in every
                                sense, one of the great humanitarians
                                of the twentieth century.' Tony Hatch,
                                songwriter and fellow charity fund

                                Eric Morley was instrumental in raising
                                over £7 million for handicapped and
                                needy children as President of Variety
                                Club International.

                                'I feel I have known Eric Morley for all of
                                my life. Eric will be greatly missed by
                                everyone and our sympathy goes out to
                                his wife, Julia and family.' Sir Henry
                                Cooper OBE KSG

                                Although Eric Morley started at Mecca in
                                1946 as a £15-a-week PR man, he
                                finished as Chairman. He turned Mecca
                                from a small catering and dance
                                company into the country's top
                                entertainment and catering company
                                with 15,000 employees covering dancing,
                                catering, bingo, gaming, ice-skating,
                                bowling alleys, discos and the main City
                                restaurants. It also provided catering
                                and entertainment facilities for Arsenal,
                                Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur football
The Miss World Pageant is not a porn  or nude event

                                As assiduous worker for charity, Eric
                                Morley's Miss World pageant raised more
                                than £30 million over the years for
                                various causes. He completed the
                                London Marathon when he was 63,
                                despite a damaged hamstring. He was
                                also a long-time supporter of the Variety
                                Club of Great Britain, as Barker in 1961
                                and Chief Barker in 1973, when he
                                raised over £2 million. He became
                                President of Variety Club International in
                                1978 and was also President of the
                                Outward Bound Trust.

                                'I am very pleased to have known Eric
                                for 30 years, right back to the Northern
                                Ireland days. I have always found him
                                to be a complete gentleman and very
                                professional to deal with. He was a
                                superb organizer, a man deeply
                                committed to his projects and devoted
                                to his family. In later years, since I
                                became involved with Variety Club and
                                came to know him personally, I was
                                always glad to be in his company. He'll
                                be very sadly missed by so many
                                people. My thoughts are very much with
                                Julia and the family.' Gloria Hunniford
                               Eric Morley raised money for the Outward
                                Bound Trust and the money to build the
                                Variety Club Childrens' Hospital at King's
                                College (he personally contributed the
                                first £250,000); he also raised funds for
                                the Wishing Well Appeal at Great
                                Ormond Street.
                                'I have had the great pleasure of
                                working with Eric Morley for a number of
                                years, both as the presenter of 'Come
                                Dancing', and through my work with the
                                Variety Club. Eric was a one-off - a truly
                                colourful character in a world where so
                                many are a corporate grey. I loved his
                                irascible outbursts, his style, his charm,
                                his sense of humour and his 'twinkle'. I'll
                                miss his long letters and cheery phone
                                calls. But most of all Variety Club will
                                miss his presence as a remarkable and
                                selfless fundraiser. Eric genuinely made
                                a difference in the lives of so many
                                children.' Angela Rippon
                                'I have known Eric Morley for many
                                years and am shocked and saddened at
                                his passing. He had a love and
                                enthusiasm for our business and was a
                                great showman.' Barbara Windsor

                                The Miss World Pageant returned
                                triumphantly to international television in
                                1999 via Channel 5 with an estimated
                                global audience of two billion.




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