Granada Reports 2005


2005 appearance, where they spoke about the release of the Legends of Comedy DVD and the possiblility of featuring in I’m A Celebrity

The interview was conducted by Tony Morris and Lucy Meacock.


Tony: Now then, they started their working lives as welders in Oldham and went on to become one of the country’s best loved double acts.

Lucy: They certainly did. They held the record for box office takings at the London Palladium, and if we say Rock on Tommy, well, I’m sure you’ll know who we’re talking about. We are delighted to welcome Cannon and Ball. We’ll be chatting to them in a moment. Pleased I got that right. But first, let’s take a look at them on stage.

(Clip from Cannon and Ball Live)

Lucy: Absolutely superb.

Bobby: Fantastic. It’s all on the DVD. Go on.

Lucy: So how did the two of you get together in the first place?

Bobby: Well, we were, we were…

Tommy: Welders is the word you’re looking for.

Bobby: That’s it. You see how we think alike. This year, me and Tom have been together 41 years this year, and we met…

Lucy: Aren’t you fed up with the sight of each other by now?

Bobby: We met in Oldham, in the beautiful Oldham, a very picturesque village. And we met in Oldham as welders. I was a welder. Tom was a fitter welder. He used to run a lot.

Lucy: That’s not you your best

Bobby: See what he did then. Boom-tsh. You can do your own rapping, you know, with no backing… and that’s how we met as welders, really. Then we started going out. I was singing at the time, and Tom used to follow me. As a stalker. And I said, well, instead of stalking me you might as well join in and we became a double act really.

Tommy: And then we became stars since I joined him.


Lucy: But 41 years on, don’t you get fed up with the sight of each other sometimes?

Tommy: Yeah.

Bobby: We don’t actually. We did at one time.

Tommy: We had a bit of a fall out for years, but…

Tony:: How on earth do you write gags and still perform then if you’ve fallen out and had a huge row? I mean how do you do that?

Bobby: We just, because we have this material and we just used to do it, and we’re actors and we fell out for four years because egos took over because I thought I was the main one of the act and Tommy thought he was the main one of the act and he should have realised it were me.

Tony: Well clearly.

Bobby: Well I sent him enough letters. But no, we did. We went and then we got through all that and now we’re close now. We just enjoy working with each other. If we’ve a fortnight not working we phone each other and saying I’m bored, you know, what you’re doing.

Tommy: It’s just one of those things you want to get up again in front of an audience. That’s what it is. You get a break, but you still want to get up there.

Tony: When we were in rehearsals, you told us that when you first decided to go for showbiz, that you got this agent. But then, but then, what happened then?

Bobby: Well when we turned pro, yeah, well, we got this agent. We did Stockport County’s Football Club on a Friday night and me and Tommy got up and were singing, there was a fellow in there with the cigar and his sunglasses, weren’t he? And he says I’m from London, which in them days, ooh, London. Signed the contract and you’re going professional. So we did. We went to the factory, said we’re packing in welding, we’re gonna be big stars, we’re going to London, and he never found us any work. So we had nothing, so we did dog kennels…


Tommy: Yeah, we were on the roof pointing chimney stacks, doing all sorts to keep ends going. Yeah, because we couldn’t go back to the factory cause that’s where, like, you know, no. All the lads there will be saying, oh I thought you said you were gonna be stars.

Bobby: So we just started going auditioning for clubs and things.

Tommy: We kept going around. We used to do, we used to phone, I used to phone from telephone booths to working men’s clubs, telling them who we were, cracking on I was the manager.

Lucy: And do you have a favourite routine?

Tommy: Yeah, yeah, we do.

Bobby: It’s the trumpet routine, yeah

Tommy: Which is on the DVD.

Bobby: That was fantastic.

Tony: You did that so well. Tell you what, before you run away, let’s have a little look at you way back in the day at Wheeltappers and Shunters Social. Have a look at this.

(Wheeltappers and Shunters clip)

Bobby: Have you noticed I’ve not put any weight on?

Tony: Don’t look a day older.

Lucy: Yeah, times been kind. But is it true that you’re in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Bobby: No

Tommy: No. I wish it was because we love that show

Bobby: Yeah, you’ve gone like that (open mouthed look)

Tony: We’re a bit surprised cause the rumour was that you were gonna be in it

Bobby: The rumours that the manager, as far as we know, has not signed a contract, but if they offered us, we would go.

Lucy: What about eating those bugs?

Tommy: If they give us a chance, we go ahead.

Bobby: If we go it’d be an adventure. But at the minute the managers not signed a contract.

Tommy: I think it’s a fantastic adventure, me. I wish we could go.

Tony: Alright,  gentlemen, it’s been a pleasure talking to you today. Thanks very much indeed.

Bobby: Thanks. I’ll tell you what it is. It’s been more pleasure for me because I think you two are legends.

Lucy: Wow

Tommy: That’s true.

Bobby: Listen to this. I will buy you a DVD.

Lucy: You’ve made our nights

Tony: Good. Cannon and Ball, thank you.

Tommy: You’re welcome.