Cannon And Ball
UK, ITV (LWT, *Yorkshire), Sketch/standup/**sitcom, Colour, 1978
Starring: Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball
After years on the northern cabaret circuit, comedians Tommy Cannon (the lighter-haired one, real name Thomas Derbyshire) and Bobby Ball (the darker-haired, moustachioed and smaller one, real name Robert Harper) broke into TV as part of Bruce Forsyth's Big Night, a weekly compendium of stand-alone items presented by Brucie on Saturday nights in late 1978. The former welders from Oldham, who had previously worked under the name the Harper Brothers, became major stars very quickly, soon winning their first own series, which, unfortunately for them, was interrupted by the ITV network strike of 1979. Nonetheless, with their Abbott And Costello-like antics and catchphrases such as 'Rock on, Tommy' they retained a strong presence on ITV through the 1980s, and moved into the cinema in 1983 with their oneoff movie The Boys In Blue (director Val Guest).
Three of their 11 series were distinct from the others: in the six programmes beginning 26 April 1986 and also the six beginning 10 January 1987 (the second set all written by Bryan Blackburn) a sitcom premise was explored, in which Tommy and Bobby stayed in a well-appointed London flat when they were down south, away from their Rochdale homes. Casino, from 19 May 1990, was part comedy-show, part game-show (with Cannon and Ball as question-masters). Clearly, the comics were eager to try something new, and a year later they appeared in the ITV sitcom Plaza Patrol
Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.
Number of episodes: 75
Length: 43 · 30 mins · 22 · 45 mins · 6 · 60 mins · 4 · approx 15 mins