Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre: Sundays, 8pm, 23rd July – 3rd September.
Torquay Princess Theatre: Tuesdays – Saturdays, 8pm, 25th July – 30th September.
Cannon and Ball
Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball are one of Britain’s funniest and most successful double acts. In a career spanning over 25 years they have achieved a string of honours that includes them among the all-time greats of show-business.
On television they have starred in their own series practically every year since 1979. They have also “guested” on all major shows including Wogan, Parkinson, Des O’Connor, Sunday Night at The Palladium and several Royal Variety Shows. They featured in a BBC documentary Funny Business based on double acts, which also included footage of comedy legends Martin and Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, and Morecambe and Wise.
To add to their pedigree, they remain the only act to have won three separate National Club Awards and be named as the Variety Club ‘Personalities of the Year’. Their feature film The Boys in Blue in addition to its cinema success, has gone on to become a video best seller. The boys have also been the subject of This Is Your Life!
During the 1970’s they built a strong reputation around the UK cabaret club circuit for being a great live act. They also toured extensively in the hotel circuits of Australia and South Africa.
Tom and Bob have broken records in theatres all over the UK, including London. In 1981 they played a six week season at the Dominion Theatre. Every Seat was sold before the show opened, and in 1988 their pantomime Babes in The Wood broke all previous pantomime records at the world famous London Palladium, where Cannon and Ball created the record for the largest box office amount to be taken in one week in British theatre history.
Rock With Laughter ’96 fulfiled Tommy and Bobby’s ambition to star in their own Rock ‘n Roll spectacular, their first Summer Season For Producers AMG.
After an extensive Autumn tour and a trip to Israel, the boys played The Chinese Policemen in Aladdin at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle and The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton.
They have appeared on many major TV shows including The Des O’Connor Show, Noel Edmonds House Party, Talking Telephone Numbers snd The Generation. Game.
In the Spring of 1999 the boys appeared at various theatres across the country starring in An Evening at the Music Hall, whilst continuing their tour of An Audience With.
The boys played full houses at their Summer Season at the Blackpool Grand Theatre last year, the season was one of the most successful summers Blackpool has ever had!
The 1999 / 2000 pantomime season saw the boys play the Regent Theatre, Stoke On Trent for the production Cinderella, alongside Melinda Messenger and Britt Ekland.
Even after nearly 30 years of making people laugh. Tommy and Bobby are still enjoying every minute and are looking forward to entertaining for many years to come.
He was a compulsive giggler in school, regularly he was asked to leave the room and stand in the corridor of St. Bedes Grammar School in Bradford. He was raised in a warm and loving household which echoed to big band music. Both parents loves the distinctive sound. Not unexpectedly, they christened their young son, born on 29th April 1943, John Dorsey Casson, after the American band leader Tommy Dorsey.
Schooling was interrupted in his teens. Playing football, he sustained a serious leg injury and was hospitalised. This threw his exam timetable out of sync and, at the age of 18, he was advised by the headmaster to look to the future in the outside world.
With his musical training Johnnie had no difficulty in finding a job, and in 1963 he became a professional musician, playing drums at Butlin’s holiday camp in Bognor Regis. The following year he joined a rock showband called the Cresters and remained with them for 20 years. A very popular group, they made five singles, toured with the Beatles, backed Tammy Wynette on several TV specials, appeared with countless other acts and broadcast regularly. Following the death of the lead singer in ’68, the group introduced visual comedy and patter into their routines, with Johnnie as the featured performer. The comedy side built up to become the mainstay of the act.
A chance remark in ’83 was to take Johnnie into comedy stardom: his wife dared him to enter Butlin’s Star Trail talent competition, as a solo act. He won several heats and took top prize with a winning performance on the stage of the London Palladium.
Johnnie never looked back.
From early appliances on The Comedians, he went on to feature in TV variety shows, clubs and stage productions, to star in pantomimes, summer seasons, and to tour in his own show. In addition to appearances on the Des O’Connor Show, he starred in Bruce Forsyth’s live 70th birthday ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ for ITV; The Big Stage for Channel 5, and released a video recorded in concert entitled ‘Live at the Opera House’.
Brighouse, West Yorkshire is where he lives with his wife Jean. They have three grown daughters, Lucy, Lindi and Amy. He is a tireless worker for charities, particularly those for children, heart disease and special appeals for individual cases.
Whilst the Eurovision Song Contest may not be regarded as the most trendy route to fame, it certainly opened the door for Abba, who won the contest in 1974 with ‘Waterloo’.
Seven years later, in 1981, the remarkable success story of Bucks Fizz commenced. Employing a similar vocal line to Abba, Bucks Fizz also won the contest, with the never to be forgotten Making Your Mind Up, which was the first of twenty plus UK chart hits. The group consisting of four young but experienced singers, had been formed specifically for a Eurovision launch. Bucks Fizz consisted of Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston, Mike Nolan and Bobby Gubby (known as Bobby G), who joined the group as main vocalist, direct from a starring role in the West End production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
After Making Your Mind Up their next two singles reached the top 20, and their fourth hit in well under a year, Land of Make Believe returned them to the top of the charts at the end of 1981.
1982 brought another chart topper My Camera Never Lies and more top 10 activity with Now Those Days Are Gone, followed in 1983 by the top 20 hit Run For Your Life, but the group were soon to be devastated by two virtually simultaneous blows.
In December 1984 whilst on tour, they were involved in a coach crash, in which several of the touring party sustained serious injuries, especially Mike Nolan. Unable to work as frequently for a while as everyone recovered, the group’s high profile was retained with the release of more hit records – I Hear Talk (1984), You and Your Heart So Blue (1985), New Beginning, Mamba Sayra and Love the One You’re With (1986) and Heart of Stone (1988). It was during this period that Shelley Preston replaced Jay Aston, but when she left. Bucks Fizz decided to continue as a trio.
At this point, Cheryl began to develop her solo television career, hosting her own show Eggs and Baker. Bobby G also branched out and wrote several television themes. He also appeared on television as a presenter / actor and had a solo hit record with his theme song for the popular television series Big Deal.
In 1993 Cheryl left to start a family and concentrate on her solo career as a presenter.
The group however continued and after various changes in personnel, founder member and lead singer, Bobby G, settled on a line up of superb performers With a brilliantly produced live show, Bobby G, Heidi Manton, Louise Hart and Graham Crisp are now recognised as without doubt the best ever Bucks Fizz.
With worldwide record sales exceeding 50 million and a host of gold and silver records, America, Europe, Australia and the Far East have all fallen under the charms of Bucks Fizz – this exciting and talented line up is certain to ensure that the name Bucks Fizz will remain a major TV, recording and concert attraction.
One of the most popular stars in the comedy world, this zany Irish comic came to this country from Northern Ireland to try his luck on the Northern club scene. His quick fire act was soon spotted by the BBC Television show of the time The Good Old Days. His enormous success on the show prompted Colehan to book him for a further five shows. During this time Frank was the three times outright winner on Hughie Green’s Opportunity Knocks. He was on his way! Shortly after this, Frank was signed by the then Head of Granada Television light Entertainment, Johnny Hamp, to appear on The Comedians and Frank was catapulted into the ‘star’ bracket. He appeared in all the subsequent series and was also asked to tour in the specially staged theatre show of the series, which broke all box office records at all the theatres on the tour.
Many other television shows followed and Frank worked extensively throughout the UK at the top cabaret dates and also every year Frank appeared in Summer Season and panto, entertaining audiences in places as far apart as Australia, Canada, Europe and the Middle and Far East. Soon his catchphras-es ‘It’s the way I tell ’em’ and ‘It’s a Cracker’, were on the lips of his numerous fans and now are used by many of his colleagues in the business who impersonate Frank. Frank takes this as a great compliment to his ability to entertain.
Frank is a great worker for many charities and good causes ranging from his Captaincy in 1981 of the Variety Club of Great Britain Golfing Society, to raising £130,000 for the Belfast Royal Victoria Hospital Children’s Cancer Ward in 1986.
He also had the compliment of being the subject of This is Your Life. This programme now holds the record for the longest period of silence from stunned Frank! Frank is probably one of the most televised comedians, a medium he loves.
As one of the most popular acts in the comedy world, Frank has an extremely full diary, but was pleased by agreement, to break the first date in his career to appear in the 1992 Royal Variety Performance. Incidentally Frank counts many of the Royal Family as his greatest fans!
The seal of approval was placed on Frank’s many community/charity projects when in the Spring of 1987 Frank was awarded one of the greatest honours in the Catholic Church when his holiness the Pope knighted Frank into the order of St Gregory in a private audience in Rome. Frank is the president of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland and former Mayor of Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, where he now resides.