The Cannon and Ball Show, 1979
Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball at their peak were the must see Saturday night TV.
Making their first TV appearance in 1972 in the Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club variety show.
The duo had been booked to perform on seven episodes of Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night, but not all of their segments were screened, as producers were trying to shore up ratings and decided to give Forsyth more air time instead.
It was during this time, LWT’s then director of programmes Michael Grade saw the dropped clips and decided to give the pair their own television series.
Debuting in 1979, The Cannon and Ball Show on ITV for nine years from until 1988.
It came to an end, when Gregg Dyke, the then Head of Programming at ITV station TVS and later to hold a similar position at LWT expressed a concern that Northern comedy shows may not suit Southern tastes. Other shows from the duo would follow but not in the same style.
The duo would perform regularly together in live shows , both had cameos in Last Of he Summer Wine, whilst Bobby made further appearances in the show in his own right and more recently he had been seen as Frank, Lee’s Father, in the BBC sitcom Not Going Out.
Sadly Bobby Ball passed away on 28th October 2020.
Each show would consist of their trademark stand-up routines with sketches, spectacular variety entertainment and a wealth of guest stars.
Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball
Produced By: London Weekend Television
Original Transmission Dates: 28th July 1979 – 27th October 1988