About Anglia

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Appearance on About Anglia, 23rd March 1983. Interviewed by Guy Michelmore about their success and the premiere of The Boys in Blue.

While the original broadcast was in colour, unfortunately there is only a black and white copy of this appearance available.

Guy: Cannon and Ball are In Norwich this week, on one of the first engagements in a record-breaking national tour. But they’ll be in Manchester tomorrow to launch their first full length feature film. It’s called Boys in Blue and it features the lads as a couple of less than efficient policemen.

(Clip from The Boys in Blue)

Guy: You certainly have a way with cattle, Tommy

Tommy: No, I don’t think I have really. I think it were pot luck, that.

Guy: What’s the plot of the of the movie? Has it got a plot?

Tommy: Yeah, it’s art thieves. I mean, that’s the actual plot. There’s all these thieving going on under our noses. Yeah, that’s it.

Guy: As a couple who’ve thrived on live audiences, what was it like for you making a movie and the relatively dead atmosphere of a cinema studio?

Bobby: It were a little bit difficult but we got used to it. It took us about two weeks to get used to it, and we were alright then, we just started being ourselves so that we’re fine. You know.

Guy: How do you think it’s turned out?

Tommy: What a question.

Bobby: It’s turned out very good.

Tommy: Yeah, I think we’re both, we’re very surprised, pleasantly surprised.

Bobby: You’ve made better ones though.

Tommy: Oh I’ve made better movies than that. But, I mean, I didn’t wanna say that you know me, but I have, don’t tell them what it were though.

Bobby: But they were blue movies. They’re quite fine.

Tommy: That were before colour.

Bobby: He was a big star in them.

Guy: Were you aware that, in a way, you were laying it on the line a little bit here, cause a number of well known comedians have tried to make it in movies and for some reason or other it hasn’t worked out.

Bobby: Yes, but they were comedians.

Guy: How do you describe yourself then? What’s your act about?

Tommy: An act? We haven’t got an act.

Bobby: Well we just go on and have a laugh really. We’re clowns, see. And a clown is different than a comedian. (To Tommy) Hasn’t he got long eyelashes for a boy.

Tommy: He has, yeah

Guy: You’ve chosen to have the premiere of the film in Manchester. Why?

Bobby: Because we’re northern lads. We’re Oldham lads. We only live 10 mile up the road.

Tommy: All the people in the film is very northern, isn’t it? You know Eric Sykes, Roy Kinnear is from Wigan. Jack Douglas is from the North East. Eric Sykes is from the next village to us

Guy: Is it important to keep in touch with your roots?

Tommy: I think so, yeah. I think it’s important.

Bobby: They have all the premieres in. London, anyway, don’t they.

Tommy: Yeah, they had one last night.

Bobby: That’s right. Were you invited?

Tommy: No. Were you?

Bobby: I went… sorry Tom. They have them all London, see. So we decided to have one in Manchester.

Guy: You mentioned the northern background yet you’re travelling all over the place now. Mammoth tour. I believe you’re setting all sorts of records the number of places you’re playing. Is it very different the different places you appear at?

Bobby: Yeah. How many shows we’re doing?

Tommy: 168 performances, which is a record for any variety act to ever done on tour. Which is just like twice nightly, which is, it’s hard going, you know.

Guy: Are audiences very different when you go north, south, east, west?

Bobby: Not now. They used to be. They’re not now. They’re all the same because they know us from television, you see? Yeah. So they’re all the same aren’t they really?

Tommy: Yeah

Guy: Well, soon they gonna know you from films. I mean, what is there left? You’ve conquered all sorts of different areas in the business.

Bobby: Well, Tommy wants to go to America, don’t you?

Guy: Do you want to go?

Bobby: Ah well, I’m going to Rhyl.

Tommy: He’s going to Rhyl first on a caravan holiday, because he really likes caravans. You know, I’m not. I don’t like caravans, so I’m going to America.

Guy: But eventually you’ll probably work together in America. Do you think your sort of comedy would…

Tommy: Eventually

Guy: Or Rhyl even

Tommy: Yeah, well, why not?

Guy: Do you think you’d do well in America?

Tommy: I don’t know. I couldn’t answer that question really.

Guy: Is it all a bit of a surprise to you? The tremendous success you’ve had?

Bobby: Of course it is.

Tommy: It is. It is a big surprise and I’m glad it is because that way you can keep your feet on the ground a little bit and it’s nice.

Guy: So underneath all this, you’re still the welders from Oldham are you?

Tommy: How dare you call me a welder?

Guy: That’s what you were though.

Bobby: He was. Yes.

Tommy: A fitter as well though, weren’t I?

Bobby: Oh he was very fit

Tommy: A very fit welder

Bobby: But we are basically welders really.

Tommy: You were welding last night, weren’t you?

Bobby: Yes, I was.

Tommy: He was welding very late last night

Bobby: Tommy this is television and I’m a very happily married person. I love my wife and children very, very much. Lovely women down here I find. And yes, we was welders and we enjoyed welding

Guy: But you enjoy this more?

Bobby: Oh yes.

Guy: Great. We enjoy watching. I must say that, lads.

Tommy: Thank very much

Guy: Thank you very much. I hope the film goes well I’ll keep my fingers cross

Tommy: Thank you

Bobby: Thank you very very much

Tommy: Smashing

Guy: And Cannon and Bob will be back at the Theatre Royal Norwich on Friday and Saturday and we’ll be back here at the usual time tomorrow. Goodnight.