Summer show at the North Pier, Blackpool, from 28th June – 4th October. Others on the bill were:
Roger de Courcey
Teddy Peiro and Patricio
Graham Bickley and the Nita Howard Dancers
From the 1981 autumn tour programme – photo of a wall panel at the North Pier.
The Record Breaking Showtime 80
185 Full Houses of 231 performances
Including a complete sell-out from 28 June – 4 October
Cannon and Ball
Cannon and Ball have unleashed a new catchphrase for the 1980’s with ‘Rock On Tommy’, but more than that they have proved conclusively with their TV series that they are one of the funniest duos in showbusiness.
Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball were both welders in their native Oldham when they first. They became big pals and eventually formed a singing duo called ‘The Harper Brothers’. This meant a change in their lives; by day they were welders and in the evening entertained in local pubs and clubs.
Such was their popularity that they were soon considering becoming professional entertainers, and an engagement in Wales made them reach such a decision. “We’d never worked outside Lancashire,” says Tommy, “and suddenly we had a week of work in Wales. And it went so well that we came home and handed in our notices.”
That was how Tommy and Bobby entered showbusiness – though they were still the singing Harper Brothers. Slowly Bobby’s natural flair for comedy crept into the act, and although their club successes continued, both felt they were getting nowhere.
“We needed a better name,” says Bobby, “so we sat down and started throwing names at each other. One of us said Cannon and the other Ball – and that was it!”
One of their earliest TV appearances was in ‘Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club’, but their real breakthrough came when they were signed by London Weekend Television.
Cannon and Ball have arrived with a bang, as evidenced by this, their first ever bill-topping summer season. Both are happily married and live close to each other in Oldham. Their off-stage interests are similar – Bobby is a fishing fanatic, while Tommy is one of the best golfers in showbiz – and they remain forever ambitious… Rock on Tommy and Bobby!
Roger de Courcey
Roger de Courcey, winner of ATV’s 1976 New Faces, is a man of many talents – singer, comedian, writer…and, of course, ventriloquist – both he and his teddie character, Nookie, have become household names. Roger was born in Vauxhall, London, and on leaving school obtained scholarships with the London Opera Company.
In 1971 he was booked to do a show and arrive at 8:00pm only to be told he wasn’t needed until well after midnight. His dressing room was little more than a store cupboard, where items of clothing and junk were stored. While sifting through them he came across a teddy bear and went on stage with teddy in tow.
The bear was an instant hit and Roger could see plenty of possibilities opening up in the way of a vent act. So he taught himself ventriloquism and worked the bear gradually into the proceedings.
That was the debut of Nookie Bear, who has gone on to become a distinctive character in his own right. Roger de Courcey, with Nookie, has emerged as an entertainer or rare quality and great talent.
In 1976 he appeared at the London Palladium three times, enjoying outstanding successes. He was chosen to appear in the royal variety show and undertook top-line concert and cabaret appearances all over Britain, including a special gala charity engagement before Princess Margaret. On television he has starred in Cabaret Showtime, Wednesday at Eight, Night Out at the Casino, Big Top, and London Night Out. He has also appeared twice at the prestigious MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Last Christmas Roger starred as Simon in the pantomime Babes in the Wood at the Hippodrome, Birmingham.
Lenny Henry is firmly established as one of our brightest comedy entertainers. He achieved prominence as the first schoolboy winner of TV’s ‘New Faces’, and has starred in TV series and made many guest appearances in clubs and the theatre.
Since his initial breakthrough as a 16 year old winner on ‘New Faces’, Lenny’s razor-sharp range of impressions, spontaneous approach to comedy, and a fine singing voice have delighted audiences.
Still living in his native Dudley, Lenny’s credits include two series of ‘The Fosters’, in which he showed his abilities as a comedy actor, and guest appearances in ‘Celebrity Squares’, ‘Seaside Special’ and ‘The Ronnie Corbett Show’.
His act combines comedy with singing and impressions of top personalities, including an almost life-like send-up of his idol Muhammad Ali. The repertoire is extensive, and Lenny points out he has the most natural gimmick in showbiz. “It’s not every day audiences are treated to coloured versions of Max Bygraves, Tommy Cooper or Michael Crawford,” he quips.
Jacqui Scott, winner of BBC Television’s first ever “Rising Stars” series last December, is certainly one of the brightest new talents to emerge in showbusiness for a long time.
Still only 16, Jacqui’s climb to success started ten years ago when she trained in piano and voice. By the time she’d reached the age of ten, Jacqui had won a scholarship to study at Chetham’s school of Music in Manchester, where she was awarded top grades with distinction.
Since then, she has enjoyed great success in theatre, cabaret and on television. Indeed, for one so young, her credits make exciting reading. She has sung in most major cabaret clubs in the country; appeared with the London Opera Company, and the Sadlers Wells Opera Company; and recently starred in the title role of “Cinderella” in pantomime.
Teddy Peiro And Patricio
Teddy Peiro – who with his son Patricio presents one of the most breathtaking speciality juggling acts in international showbusiness – was born in Argentina and emigrated to the USA.
He has performed at most leading nightclubs and theatres in America, including the Radio City Music Hall and Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Indeed, while enjoying outstanding Stateside success, Teddy also appeared on major television shows and worked alongside Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Junior, Danny Kaye and Dean Martin.
Teddy’s son Patricio was born in London and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied trumpet and piano. Before joining his father he performed with the famous National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Teddy Peiro and Patricio have appeared in ‘The Paul Daniels Show’, ‘The Generation Game’ and ‘The Good Old Days’, plus cabaret appearances all over Britain.