One-off dates




Date at Butlins Skegness


One-off show, Sunday 2nd October 1983.
With Flair, Terry Seabrooke, Peter Saint and the Mike Ryal Orchestra.


1982 Blackpool Opera House programme cover 1982 Blackpool Opera House programme listing
Harold Fielding’s Sunday Night at the Blackpool Opera House
Easter Sunday, 11th April 1982 – two shows

1982 Blackpool Opera House programme introductionCannon and Ball are a comedy double-act with a difference. Their act blends comedy with pathos, and hinges on the constant conflict between the suave Tommy Cannon and the scruffy-suited, leg shaking character of Bobby Ball and their ‘Rock On, Tommy’ catchphrase is perhaps the most repeated in the country. Professionally they have been in show business for 18 years. Prior to that they worked on a semi-professional basis. They were welders in the daytime and most of their evenings were spent entertaining in Lancashire clubs. By the time they turned professional they were already established in their native North of England, but their ambition was to achieve stardom—and no one can doubt that they have now realised this ambition. Tommy Cannon was christened Thomas Derbyshire, and Robert Harper is the real name of Bobby Ball. Both are from Oldham, where they still. live with their respective families. They first met in the early 1960’s as workmates in an engineering factory. Both were welders doing repetitious and often boring work, but they formed a friendship that over-spilled into their social lives. The twosome shared a love for singing, and after a couple of impromptu performances at the factory social club, formed a singing duo called ‘The Harper Brothers’. And so, their lives were trans-formed. By day they continued as welders, but in the evenings they donned their best suits and entertained in local clubs. However, it soon became evident that Bobby had a natural flair for comedy and this was complemented by Tommy’s ability to remain straight-faced and act as the perfect foil to him. Soon, the serious singing was spiked with the type of hilarious humour which has now become the Cannon & Ball trademark. Comedy entirely original and unique; comedy, loosely based on their working relationship as welders. As the act began to develop through their many appearances in the social clubs of South East Lancashire, they began to look for opportunities outside their native area. As their appearances increased and confidence grew, it soon became evident that engineering would have to survive without them. Working mainly in social clubs in the North of England, Cannon & Ball can look back at overcoming some of the toughest audiences in the country. Lesser artistes have not survived these most demanding and discriminating audiences. Cannon & Ball not only survived, but learned how to build a following whose loyalty and affection is the envy of many artistes. In 1965, they began to appear throughout the country In 1970/72, Cannon & Ball undertook tours of Australia and South Africa for cabaret and radio work. Few acts in the country today can obtain such a wide range of responses from an audience. The quickly changing love/hate’ relation-ship from Tommy Cannon to Bobby Ball in their act is based on masterly timing and knowing how to ‘work an audience’. The pathos and sympathy extended to the rejected Bobby Ball and the animosity towards Tommy Cannon, who refused his partner’s friendship, is clearly based on their early experiences. With the continual encouragement of Stuart Littlewood, their Personal Manager, the ex-welders from Oldham have come a long way. With their perfect timing and their flexibility to play any audience, it is easy to see why Cannon & Ball are so much sought after as stars in Britain’s cabaret and theatres. At Christmas they appeared for 61/2 weeks at the Coventry Theatre, Coventry. They are currently appearing on ITV in their new television series and follow this with a summer season at Bournemouth.


1981 Jersey flyer
4 shows in Fort Regent, Jersey


1979 Blackpool ABC Flyer
Sunday September 30th, Blackpool ABC
With The Dooleys


1977 Great Yarmouth Programme front cover
Sunday June 26th, Great Yarmouth Wellington Pier Pavilion
With Brotherhood of Man

1977 Great Yarmouth Programme centre pages