Des O’Connor Tonight

Aired Wednesday 1st November 1989

Rather than a standard chat show appearance, this was a sketch with Des O’Connor. Des was only interested in speaking to, and singing with, Tommy. Meanwhile Bobby wanted to talk about his new Juniper Jungle books

Des O'Connor Tonight screenshot

While this transcript is relatively close to the sketch, the three often interrupted or talked over one another.

(Bobby and Tommy enter together to the instrumental of ‘Together We’ll Be OK, shake Des’s hand and sit down)

Des: (To Tommy) I’m so pleased to see you. Tommy

Bobby: (To Des) I’m pleased to see you

Des: (Ignoring Bobby) It’s really good to have you. I like the way you hold the act together.

Tommy: I know, I always have done, always have done.

Des:  Let me ask  you something. I mean, there are not many double acts around these days. And you know, suddenly you’re there. You’re wearing the crown. When did you two guys meet?

Tommy: Ohh 25 years ago (To Bobby: I’m talking) 25 years ago now, 25 years ago next year we met in a welding shop.

(Bobby takes a small camera from his pocket and aims it at Des, moving around to different angles)

Des: You were two ordinary guys

Tommy: Waiting to clock and he came and said hello.

Des: You didn’t know that he was..

Bobby: He’s my hero, you know. He’s my hero.

Tommy: We’re talking!

Des: We’re talking about careers.

Bobby: Sorry Des.

Des (to Tommy): You didn’t know him and he didn’t know you. Suddenly, suddenly, there you are.

(Bobby continues taking photos, moving Des’s head to the right place)

Tommy: Yeah.

Bobby: I just want to get the nose in.

Des: You’ll need a bigger lens. (To Tommy) I just, I wanna talk to you about what interests you two. How you got the name Cannon and Ball and your interests, which are racing…

Tommy: Yeah, love, love racing

Bobby: I write books myself.

Des: (Ignoring what Bobby said) The racing is something which came new to you. It’s because you’re a golf fan.

Tommy: A golf fanatic, yes

Bobby: I write children’s books.

Des: (Ignoring Bobby again) See, if we can discuss racing, I’ll have no problems at all …

(Bobby picks up a copy of Juniper Jungle, Bob takes it from him and puts it back on the table)

Des: …because I find that racing is a sport of kings. It’s a sport…

(Bobby picks up book again)

Bobby: I wrote this book, it took me a week to write this one.

(Des takes book from him and replace it on the table)

Des: You were very lucky to have, to have a horse

Bobby: Will you sign it, Des?

(Des throws the book over the back of the sofa, Bobby starts climbing to get it)

Des: This horse ran how many times?

Tommy: It ran four times and won four times. Straight, four runs.

(Bobby passes Des the book to sign, Des starts signing it and passes it back)

Des: And you, you, you, you actually what? You bought it yourself or did a trainer buy it.

Tommy: A trainer bought it for me. You know, the usual thing and yeah.

(Bobby opens the book, looks at the signature and pulls a face)

Des: I believe that racing is a sport that everyone should do.

Tommy: Yeah. Yeah, I think you’re quite right.

Des: And good luck with your gee-gees.

Tommy: Thanks a lot.

Bobby: I’ve been writing these books, Juniper Jungle.

(Des takes book and places back on table)

Tommy: I’ve gotta say, the reason that I’m here on the show is because I’d like to sing a song with you.

Bobby: But I’d like to talk about these books that I’ve written, Juniper Jungle books, the children’s books that I’ve written.

Des: Tommy. Really nice to meet a guy that understands good music, because there’s so much rubbish in the chart and you and I sing the right song…

Bobby: And I’ve got bedding. I’m had ‘em done on bedding and everything.

(Des tries to lean in to speak to Tommy, but Bobby joins in too)

Des: What kind of song would you…

Tommy: Don’t keep talking about your bedding, will you?

Bobby: Sorry.

Des: What kind of song? Are you serious about this…

Tommy: I’m deadly serious because just you and I. That’s the reason I’m here….

Bobby: What are we singing?

Tommy: (To Des) …to sing the song with you.

Bobby: Why don’t we sing Juniper Jungle. It’s the title of my new books.

(Des throws books away)

Des: You’re not talking about that nonsense, you’re here to discuss sensible things. Can we get into this song?

Tommy: Let’s get into the song. I’ll tell you what, you and I, we’ll sing the song, OK.

Des: Wonderful, wonderful. (To Bobby) You just stay there.

(Des and Tommy are standing, Bobby left on the sofa, to large ‘awwww’ from the audience)

Des: I’ve got a microphone

Tommy: You’ve got a microphone?

Bobby: Well, I just want to say if you don’t mind me saying. You said if I can come on, I can mention my children’s books.

Des: Shush

Bobby: But I wanna say this. I came on here. And to me Des, it’s been the highlight of my career to come on here. You’ve always been a, you’re a leg end to me, Des.

Tommy: Legend, not a leg end. I’m sorry, Des.

Bobby: No, no but. No, because I just feel like.

Des: You say what you’ve got to say and then get off.

Tommy: Thank you.

Bobby: I’ve come on here to mention my children’s books…

Des: We’re gonna sing a song. That’s what we’re gonna do.

Tommy: That’s right.

Bobby: Yes but they can read it…

Des: Never mind about that. We’re gonna sing a song. We’re gonna do it now. Do you wanna, if you wanna do something useful get in the audience and cheer.

Bobby: Ladies and gentlemen. (To Des) You know, I’ve got all your record.

Tommy: Now that’s not very nice. That is not very nice.

Des: But it’s sincere.

Bobby: You two sing, I’ll accompany you then.

Tommy: Sorry? No, no, no, no, no. Des. No, no, no, no, no, no. What do you mean you’ll accompany us?

Bobby: Piano, I’ll play the piano.

Tommy: Oh I see, so you can play the pianoforte can you?

Bobby: Of course I can’t, don’t be stupid, I can only play one, I’m not a piggin octopus.  

Des: Wait a minute. We’re just doing a song. So, look, if you wanna play the piano, alright, but you’ll have to convince Colin. Cause he’s my piano player. Walk this way.

(All walk to piano)

Bobby: (Nudging Colin) Come on, come on, come on. Look at him. He’s like Desperate Dan with a perm.

Des: Please, Colin

Bobby: Bog off! Bog off!

Colin: (to Bobby) Who does your hair?

Des: Who does his hair? Black and Decker. Sorry about this. Don’t worry. As long as you can do the song… Now we’re gonna do the song.

Tommy: We’re going to do the song.

Des: But can he play?

Tommy: I don’t think he can but let’s try.

(Bobby sits down theatrically and plays the piano, then stands up and takes a bow)

Des: We are going to sing ‘Help me make it through the night.’

(Des leans in and kisses Bobby’s nose)

Bobby: I’m not like that now Des…. I used to be but I’m alright now… A beautiful song, ladies and gentlemen, written by Paganini in the late 18th Century.

Tommy: That says Page 9 not Paganini.

Bobby: Page 9. Page 9. Ha ha ha ha ha. Paganini. Sorry about that. (To Des) Remember that record, Dick-a-Dum-Dum.

Des: You played that on your honeymoon, didn’t you?

Bobby: Oh yes.

Des: Anyway never mind about that

Bobby: We played that on our honeymoon…

Des: Never mind about that… we’re going to sing…

Bobby: There were plenty of dum dum but not

Des: Never mind

Tommy: Help me make it through the night. Here we go. (sings) Take the ribbon from your hair…

(Bobby plays wrong notes, Tommy grabs him)

Tommy: What are you doing?

Bobby: You’ve got me bust

Tommy: Never mind your bust.

Bobby: I think you’ve pulled my nipple off.

Tommy: I’ll put it on the end of your nose in a minute

Bobby: Can I borrow one of yours, Des?

Des: Can you please just get him to play, we’re running late.

Tommy: I’m sorry, we’ll do this. (To Bobby) Get on with it or he’ll never invite us back again.

Bobby: (To Colin) And you keep quiet!… He’s always butting in

Des: Right, here we go

Tommy and Des: Take the ribbon from your hair… Shake it loose and let it fall…

(Bobby flings himself around theatrically)

Bobby: Paganini!

Tommy and Des: Lay it soft upon my skin…

(Bobby leans out too far and falls off the piano stool).

Tommy and Des: Like the shadows on the wall… Come and lay down by my side…

Colin: Come and lay down by… (Bobby punches him)

Tommy and Des: ‘Til the early mornin’ light…

Des: That’s the end of my piano player

Tommy and Des: All I’m askin’ is your time…

Des: Do you have to do this every night?

Tommy: Every night, every night.

Tommy and Des: Help me make it through the night… I don’t care who’s right or wrong…
And I won’t try to understand… Let the devil take tomorrow… Lord tonight I need a friend…

(Bobby messes up the playing, Tommy swings for him and misses)

Bobby: I was lucky then Des, I was lucky then

Tommy and Des: Yesterday is dead and gone… And tomorrow’s out of sight… And it’s sad here on your own, Help me…

(Bobby messes about, Tommy closes piano lid, Bobby opens it and traps Tommy’s fingers)

Bobby: Sorry Tommy, it’s this piano lid, it fell up on its own. Sorry, sorry, my cock-up.

Tommy and Des: Help me make it through the night

(Bobby walks to front of stage)

Bobby: Thank you, thank you.

(Tommy grabs Bobby and pulls him away)