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Programme Notes

Cannon and Ball

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Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball are Britain's funniest and most successful double act. In a career spanning over 25 years they have achieved a string of honours that puts them among the all-time 'greats' of show business. On TV they have starred in their own series practically every year since 1979, and the success of their variety series and specials was recently enhanced by their own game show, Cannon & Ball's Casino and a highly successful comedy acting debut in the YTV sit-com Plaza Patrol.

However, it is as the undisputed kings of live entertainment that Cannon and Ball have set standards that will probably never be bettered. Indeed, they have smashed box-office records all over the country - and continue to do so with consummate ease. For example, they celebrated their 25th anniversary as a double-act in 1991 by starring in Britain's longest running summer season - 25 weeks at the North Pier, Blackpool. They first appeared at the venue in 1980 and played to capacity business -and their 1991 season was a virtual re-run of that success. But then, Blackpool is a happy hunting ground for the Oldham-born twosome. In the space of 10 weeks at the massive Opera House they grossed over one million! Their record-breaking season attracted over 300,000 patrons to one of Britain's premier theatres.

Their debut season at the prestigious London Palladium in pantomime set more records. Over two million was grossed at the box office, and in the space of one week Cannon & Ball created the biggest box office takings in the history of British theatre. In practically every pantomime season and summer show in which they star Cannon & Ball set new records. Its become a 'habit' that has made them a showbusiness phenomenon. And, to add to their pedigree, they remain the only act in British showbiz to have won three separate National Club Awards; have starred in several Royal Variety Shows; received the highest award in showbiz by being named Variety Club Personalties of the Year starred in their own feature film The Boys in Blue, which in addition to enjoying huge success in the cinema has since gone on to become a video best-seller, and been featured as the subjects of This is Your Life.

And there's still plenty more to come, because Cannon & Ball have never been known to sit back and rest on their laurels - no matter how successful they have become.

"We're still only youngsters," laughs Tommy, "and both of us have loads of ambitions to fulfil. We would like to make another film - perhaps we should go to Hollywood and do it in style! - and we're also frustrated pop stars! Bob and I began as a singing duo and we still love to belt out a few songs in our stage and TV shows. The only difference is that whereas Bob would love a chart success with a really raunchy rock 'n' roll number, I would prefer a romantic ballad!"

Even away from showbusiness both have outstanding talents in other fields. Tommy has already chaired a professional football club, is one of the best golfers in showbiz and owns and rides his own horses, while Bobby has his own recording studio and writes poetry. Bobby also likes to relax by encouraging his sons Robert, (a talented comedian like his father) and Darren, a gifted singer/songwriter.

Cannon and Ball have succeeded in establishing themselves as showbusiness legends. It is no surprise to learn that they are also two of the nicest personalities away from the spotlight. "We have no pretensions", says Tommy, "We're a couple of ordinary blokes doing what we do best - entertaining people and making them laugh. We love it. The important thing is that we haven't changed in our attitudes. We're still Bobby and Tommy to everyone, and still get a kick every time someone shouts out 'Rock On Tommy' in the street.

Tom and Bob are thrilled to bring their record-breaking 25th Anniversary Show which proved such a blockbuster in Blackpool to the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth.

The Sounds of the Platters

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The original Platters had an unbelievable forty golden hits!

This line-up, who have been together for nine years now, have appeared on television with Cannon and Ball and Jasper Carrott, at the London Palladium, and a summer season in Torquay, followed by a sensational 25-week season in Blackpool during summer 91. They recently performed out in the Far and Middle East.

Martine Girault, William Lessenberry and Miles Caine sung with Herb Reed of the original Platters and went on to continue The Platters tradition with their hits such as: ONLY YOU, SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES, TWILIGHT TIME, MY PRAYER, MAGIC TOUCH etc. etc.

This truly great American act will continue singing these great golden hits for many years to come.

Mike Doyle

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Mike Doyle was born in the Land of Song and has a voice that can do justice to grand opera as well as rock 'n roll - and the Welsh entertainer has been blessed with an even greater gift for comedy. So much so that the last 12 months have proved to be the most successful of his career so far. It began when he was named Newcomer of the Year in the prestigious British Comedy Awards and then came his show-stopping performance in the Royal Variety Show in the presence of HM The Queen. And. in the middle of all that came a record-breaking 25 week summer season at Blackpool's North Pier with Cannon and Ball, who he teams up with once again here in Yarmouth to guarantee a comedy feast for holidaymakers. He broke even more records in his debut panto season in his native Cardiff, and a string of TV appearances and sell-out concerts in Australia earlier this year have led to a national tour down-under with Max Boyce immediately after this summer season. "What a year its been," says Mike with a huge grin. "I have to keep pinching myself to make absolutely sure I'm not dreaming!"

His BBC TV series Something for the Weekend (subsequently repeated) and his debut series for HTV The Mike Doyle Show, have further served to enhance a career that is surely destined to bring super-stardom to the talented young comedy entertainer.

He is very much a one-off original with a sense of humour that is complemented by off-beat impressions and a singing voice that makes him the pride of the Valleys. His relaxed and distinctive style belies his age, and already his relatively short career has produced some significant successes.

Indeed, he was such a hit in his debut winning appearance on TV's Opportunity Knocks in 1988, that he was asked to make 2 special guest appearance the following year - when he also made his debut in the Children's Royal Variety Show for good measure!

His success on TV cannot be doubted, but it is Mike's pedigree as a live entertainer that puts him ahead of his comedy peers. A mixture of comedy, singing and highly original impressions (anything from a motorbike to a full drum kit!), it is an act that singles Mike out as a true star. The Carmarthen-born funnyman is happily married to Jane and they have a 3 year-old son, Thomas. Mike's hobbies include golf and driving.

Pete Matthews

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Peter started his entertaining career at 14 years old around Bournemouth. He disrupted many lessons at Queen Elizabeth School in Wimbourne with his antics during class, his teachers still however invite him back! He intended to be a commercial artist after he achieved grade A in his art exam but realised he much prefers to make people laugh. Peter's act started as a clown which included slapstick and face paint, he went under the name of Pepe but soon decided to pursue his career as 'himself. Pete loves to make people happy and has entertained at many local pubs, clubs, parties, chanty shows, hotels and carnivals. In the summer of 1989 he could be seen busking around the busy seafront of Bournemouth and earned a great deal of money for charity. He is self taught and a master of juggling, uni-cycling, plate-spinning, comedy, magic, stilt walking, roller skating, gymnastics, trampolining, yo yo, diablo, tight rope walking, fire eating and break dancing. He was the youngest person to perform on the West Piazza at Covent Garden at 15 years old.

Peter has won many talent contests, and one of which led him to perform at a Royal Variety Youth Showcase attended by HRH Prince Edward. He has done television shows for HTV Wales and TVS. He used to run his own juggling workshop in his home town of Wimborne where he still lives with his brothers and sisters in his parents pub. He used his workshop to improve his own skills enough to make his love of entertaining his career as well as to teach others.

Peter's big break came in 1991 when he appeared with Cannon and Ball in their sensational 25-week season in Blackpool. He has a regular spot at the Manchester Hotel in Bournemouth whenever he is at home. At 18 years old now, Peter's act is exciting, energetic, fun and always ad lib, and includes comedy, juggling and uni-cycling, one never knows what to expect - but you can always be sure of one thing - the most important thing to Pete - he'll always make you happy.

Phil Winston - Choreographer

Dance is Phil's life. From the age of three years old his training has been varied - from gaining a scholarship at the Royal Ballet School co training with the country's foremost teachers in their individual fields. His credits include Five Alive TV Special, Russ Abbot's Christmas Special for the BBC, Danceworks ZDF TV, The Little & Large Laughter Show, Jimmy Tarbuck's Summer Magic, Viva Experience and the Viva Show, Mystique, The Hot Ice Show and various TV shows in Europe. This year will be Phil's 7th Season at the Horseshoe at Blackpool Pleasure Beach choreographing Mystique and his 4th Hot Ice Show at Blackpool. Phil has also choreographed the Hot Ice Show at De-Eftling Theme Park in Holland and the Ice Show at the Casino Deauville in France. Phil worked with David Essex in pantomime at The Alhambra Theatre in Bradford and will be involved again this year. He also spends a great deal of time lecturing and hosting Master Classes. He is a Fellow and Examiner of the International Dance Teachers Association and represented Britain as lecturer at the National Youth Jazz Dance Festival at Stirling University last year.

Hike Ryal - Musical Director

In October this year, Mike will have completed eleven very successful years as the musical director to our two stars. Cannon and Ball. It is the second time that Mike has been to Great Yarmouth along with his superb musicians to provide the backing for the Britannia Pier Show. Mike is now a proud grandfather and as his grand-daughter Francesca is resident in the Gt Yarmouth area, his daytime will be spent pushing her buggy around the local parks. "I am looking forward to this year at Gt Yarmouth" says Mike, "we were made to feel really at home last time, except for one lady who insisted that all the music was taped. We didn't know whether to take that as a compliment or not! We wrote to her pointing out that we were hidden behind the screen and that it was very hot and sticky during the show, but she wrote to the press to complain. For those who are not so sure that there is a band, we can be found in the bar after the show."


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