At the Bradford Alhambra
Cannon & Ball
Cannon & Ball are a comedy double-act with a difference. Their act blends comedy with pathos, and hinges on the constant conflict between the suave Tommy Cannon and the scruffy-suited, leg-shaking character of Bobby Ball and their ROCK ON TOMMY catchphrase is perhaps the most repeated in the country. Professionally they have been in show business for 18 years. Prior to that they worked on a semi-professional basis. They were welders in the daytime and most evenings were spent enteriaining in Lancashire clubs. By the time they turned professional they were already established in their native North of England, but their ambition was to achieve stardom – and no one can doubt thai they have now realised .his ambition. The Cannon 6 Ball story is based on hard work, determination and talent Their TV series for LWT – entitled simply Cannon 6 Ball – has opened the doors to national stardom, but they are by no means the proverbial overnight stars’ Indeed, Cannon & Ball have been regarded as one of clubland’s funniest double acts for well over a decade and remain the only entertainers to have won the prestigious Club Mirror Comedy Act of the Year’ award on two separate occasions. The first time they won the award it led to several TV guest spots, but real television success continued to elude them until London Weekend Television signed them for their first ever series.
Prior to this major breakthrough Tommy and Bobby appeared to have been dogged by bad luck when it came to TV exposure, and their debut series proved no exception. After just two shows had been screened ITV was hit by a long-running dispute, and it was not un;il the end of 1979 that Cannon & Ball were able to prove their popjlarity as TV entertainers Though they remain great worriers and perfectionists, Cannon & Ball have already made tie sort of TV impact for which they tiave always been striving, but how did it all begin? They first met in the early 1960s as workmates in an engineering factory. Both were welders doing repetitious and often boring work, but they formed a friendship that over-spilled into their social lives. The twosome shared a love for singing, and after a couple of imprompiu performances at the factory social club, formed a singing duo called The Harper Brothers’. However, it soon became evident that Bobby had a natural flair for comedy and this was complemented by Tommy’s ability to remain straight faced and act as the perfect foil to him. Soon, the serious singing was spiked with the type of hilarious humour which has now become the Cannon & Ball trademark. Comedy entirely original and unique; comedy loosely based on their working relationship as welders As the act began to develop through their many appearances in the social clubs of South East Lancashire, they began to look for opportunities outside their native area. Working mainly in social clubs in the North of England, Cannon & Ball can look back at overcoming some of the toughest audiences in the country. Lesser artistes have not survived these most demanding and discriminating audiences. Cannon & Ball not only survived, but built a loyal and affectionate following. After two years, Cannon & Ball started to attract attention outside the North of England. In 1965 they began to appear throughout the country. It was now that their earlier tough apprenticeship proved invaluable. They were quickly able to overcome many of ,he problems that some northern comedians experience when appearing outside their region. Never having to rely on dialect or stories their zany style needed only subtle changes In 1970/72 Cannon & Ball undertook tours to Australia and South Africa for cabaiet and radio work. In Britain their national reputation has continued to grow. Following the success of their recent television series, Cannon & Ball are now firmly established as one of Britain’s leading entertainment attractions, and are currently breaking all box office records
In 1970 Norman Collier was voted the Top Comedian in the comedy section of the “Stage and Television Awards” competition which was televised on BBC, and went on to become the overall winner, for which he received the Bernard Delfon; Supreme Award presented to “The Most Outstanding Performer of the Year”. After this accolade, it was not surprising that Norman was next chosen to appear in the Royal Variety Performance in 1971, which was staged at the London Palladium and attended by H.M. The Queen and Princess Anne. On this occasion, Norman’s success was even more spectacular, for his hilar’ious act stopped the show and was acclaimed by the Piess, This was no overnight success, however, but the result of many years hard work. He is happily married, and he and Lucy have a son and two daughters, and he still lives near Hull where he returns as often as he can. His hobbies include football, horse and car racing, and golf, but the thing he enjoys most is making people laugh. Norman’s recent work includes 1977 Summer Season at the North Pier, Blackpool, with Little & Large and Frank Carson, and was immediately re-booked to appear in the same show for the 1978 Summer Season at the ABC Theatre, Gt. Yarmouth. 1977 Pantomime was at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre, 1978 Pantomime at the New Theatre, Oxford. Summer Season 1979 was again with Little & Large at the Opera House, Blackpool, and 1979 Pantomime was at the Apollo Theatre, Manchester. Norman has made many TV appearances including The Generation Game (BBC), The Freddie Starr Variety Madhouse (LWT), 3-2-1 (YTV), and in February 1980 he appeared on The Michael Parkinson Show. In 1980 Norman was at Bournemouth for a very successful Summer Season
Susan Maughan emerged into show business in the early 1960s with a string of very successful chart singles, the most popular of which was Bobbys Girl’. The ‘swinging 60’s’ was a time when numerous artistes had hit records, became stars overnight . . . and then jusi as quickly disappeared. However, the talented ones, like Cilia Black, Freddie and the Dreamers and Gerry Marsden survived through the 70 s. Today, they are very successful entertainers. Susan was one of the girl singers who came through all the one-night pop package shows of that era to emerge an international cabaret star, having managed to combine a successful career with a very happy personal life-she is married and has a young son, Gregory, now seven She has worked throughout the world at such prestigious venues as the Mandarin Hotel, Hong Kong, the International Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, and the Pla/a Hotel, New York. Susan has starred at all the major British cabaret nightspots, and diversified her numerous talents to take in Radio, TV, Film, Theatre, Summer Season and Pantomime engagements. For the 1977/78 Christmas season she starred alongside John Inman in Mother Goose at the Hippodrome Theatre, Bristol, and she repeated her role i^ 1978/79 at the Theatre Royal Nottingham. Last year she starred as Dick Whittington at the New Theatre. Cardiff Earlier this year she chalked up a huge personal success with an exciting summer season in The Jim Davidson Show at the Winter Gardens Theatre, Margate
June has recently been seen as the anti-euthanasia character Angela Burrows in the controversial television series For Mad die With Love with Nyree Dawn Porter and Ian Hendry, and has just recorded a play for ATV, Jack’s Trade, to be screened in 1981. Her theatrical experience is wide and varied, from a season with the Welsh National Theatre Company playing Dylan Thomas’ mother in a play about his life to Principal Boy in pantomimes which she also wrote, directed and choreographed. Still one of her favourite roles was the neurotic Paula Randell in Crossroads who created havoc, even attempting suicide to make Vera end the affair she was having with her sailor husband. Among numerous other television roles has been Sister Weston in the General Hospital series and the silent, long-suffering Mrs. Charlie Endell in Budgie. Born in South Wales she was a Prince Littler Scholarship Student at the Cardiff College of Music and Drama. She now lives in a fifteenth-century thatched cottage in Bedfordshire with her television executive husband, tiny Yorkshire terrier and enormous white cat.
Gordon keeps it brief: Professional debut Birmingham Rep 1958. Several seasons as Actor/Director/Company Manager. King Rat in Dick Whittington for four seasons, three with Dazzle Productions, lastly at Bournemouth with Crackerjack team for M.A.M. Christmas 78/73 season. Last Christmas, parts and ASM. in Cinderella for London management with Windsor Davies/Don Estelle at Nottingham Theatre Royal.
Beverley Andrews, born in Blackpool, started her career at the age of 12 in the famous Children’s Revue at the Blackpool Tower, leaving to do her first summer season dancing at the South Pier at the age of 16 with the Grumbleweeds. Then followed successive season shows at Blackpool and Great Yarmouth with Freddie Starr. Beverley first worked with Cannon & Ball here at the Alhambra in panto five years ago as a dancer, then summer season with them at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth: during that season she met two girls in the same show and formed a singing and dancing trio, “The Sunshine Girls”, who have since worked all over the world, had very successful summer seasons at Blackpool and Bridlington with Les Dawson, appeared at the Savoy, London, and with Frankie Laine at the London Palladium. Beverley has now commenced a solo career, and has just returned from a six-week cabaret season in Portugal, and is happy to be with her old friends Tom Cannon and Bobby Ball, back at the Alhambra as Princess Marigold of Ambrosia.
Gerry, who has recently finished two highly successful nationwide tours with Little 6 Large and Frankie Vaughan, is very happy to be returning to the Alhambra for his third year as Musical Director. He is currently working on two TV series. Get It Together and Pop Gospel, for Granada as Musical Arranger, and is kept busy writing and arranging TV and Radio ‘Jingles’. Although born in Slough, Berks, he has lived in Leeds for the past 17 years and feels that he can nearly be classed as a Naturalised Yorkshireman’. He is an extremely keen golfer and plays at his local clubs, Leeds, at every available opportunity.
Teddy Peiro and Patricio
Teddy Peiro was born in Argentina, emigrated to the USA and for 20 years performed there from coast to coast Teddy lived in Las Vegas for nine years and appeared there many times at the top hotei casinos, and also presented his own show at the Stardust Hotel. Teddy has shared the spotlight with the greatest names in show business including Danny Kaye, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Benny Goodman, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason, Sammy Davis Jnr, Dean Martin, Pat Boone and Bob Hope. Before leaving Las Vegas to live in London Teddy want to Vietnam with Bob Hope to entertain the troops, and for this he received a Citation from the State Department. During his career Teddy has appeared before three Presidents of the USA and appeared in three Royal Variety Performances at the London Palladium. Patricio was born in London and at the age of seven decided to follow a show business career, so while his father Teddy was working piofessionally Patrick was entertaining his friends at school. Patrick won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied trumpet and piano. During school vacations Teddy took Patrick with him and “incorporated” him into his act. When Patrick left school nt joined Teddy as a full stage partner, and since then have appeared in South Africa, oncruise liners and in top cabaret dates in Europe and Great Britain, as well as appearing on TV shows like The Good Old Days, The Generation Game, The Larry Grayson and Paul Daniels Shows. Bookings in 1980 included 10 weeks at the Stardust Club in Usk, Wales, some Paul Daniels TV shows and a summer season at Blackpool with Cannon & Ball.
Nita became one of the country’s busiest choreographers when she worked as Ballet Mistress on the Harry Secombe musical The Four Musketeers at Drury Lane, and Harry was so impressed he invited her to choreograph a charity gala show at the Palladium. Nita has choreographed TV shows tor such stars as Cilia Black, Ken Dodd, John Hanson, Harry Secombe, Cliff Richard, Roy Castle and Roger Whittaker
June and Paul Kidd
June & Paul Kidd are regarded as Britain’s Premier Animal Impersonators. Indeed, their wide assortment of “Animal Creations” range from “Pippy the Telephant” on “Small Time” to their famous “Daisy the Cow” character which they so successfully established on 5 O’clock Club. Their animal characters have also been featured in Walt Disney films as well as Alice in Wonderland, whilst their “Herby the Horse” has been seen on TV’s Avengers series. Their animal skins are highly valuable and have been insured for thousands of pounds. Their show business experience spans everything from variety and circus to pantomimes, ice shows and galas. During the summer months each year, they figure prominently in the gala scene, presenting their comedy exploding car routine and travelling hundreds of miles each week. They worked in the last big circus at Olympia staged by Bertram Mills, and have only just returned from The Ruddy Carole Show in Germany for German TV. Paul Kidd is also experienced in stilt work and combines the roles of Daisy the Cow and the Giant whenever they appear in Jack and the Beanstalk. Over the years they have appeared in panto at Lewisham, Leicester, Golders Green, Southsea, Liverpool, Swansea, Norwich, Cardiff and, last year, Liverpool again.
Peter Sontar began his career in his teens, working as Assistant Stage Manager in the majority of theatres throughout the United Kingdom and eventually becoming Stage Director at the famous Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He worked in the United States for the New York Theatre Guild as Production Stage Manager for several Musicals, and spent some considerable time with the famous Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. He joined M.A.M. eight years ago, but prior to this toured throughout Europe and South Africa, working in all spheres of entertainment including radio and television production. He has been associated with many international stars – Shirley Maclaine, The Carpenters, Joel Grey, Steve Lawrence and Edye Gorme, and most recently Shirley Bassey, to name but a few. He was Producer/Director for the only tour which Perry Como did of the United Kingdom in 1976. In addition to all the above he has produced and directed eight Summer Seasons in Bournemouth and Scarborough for M.A.M., and is now considered to be one of the foremost Producer/Directors in live theatre entertainment in this country.