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Little and Large

"Bill Cotton said it was about time you were fired, Syd"FAT MAN dons comedy wig/glasses/oversized bowtie while thin man attempts to sing popular song on acoustic guitar. Thin man looks pissed off. Fat man laughs uproariously. Thin man attempts to resume song. Fat man dons second comedy wig/glasses/oversized bowtie while doing the world’s worst impressions. Thin man looks pissed off again. Repeat ad nauseaum for almost 15 fucking years. The Beeb promoted this pair as, if you can believe it, the new MORECAMBE and WISE. Yup, the next new ones since the last ones (see LENNIE AND JERRY above). Amongst Eddie’s armoury of vocalese: Deputy Dawg, Dave off MINDER, Zippy off RAINBOW, Tina Turner. Only decent joke involved litany of impersonations accompanying who’s-this-starting-their-car hand gesture. Original title sequence featured animated versions of the pair parachuting into Television Centre, a bit like that bloke who illegally flew a light aircraft into Red Square. Reception in both cases uncannily similar.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Medium Sized

    February 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    The skit where Eddie was locked in a soundproof booth and still managed to disrupt Syd’s singing was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen at a tender age.

    That said, The Mary Whitehouse Experience got it right when they sent them up in later years: “I’m Tina Turner, I am!” “You’re not Tina Turner…. Eddie… Eddie…” (repeat in ever more pathetic and plaintive tones)

    In the early 80s L&L had a Hot Gossip style dance troupe called Foxy Feeling for the duo to lust over, who dressed like strippers and performed routines which never sat very well with the family friendliness of the rest of the show. Cuddly Ken got away with it, but not here.

    Hang loose!

  2. televisualcabbage

    February 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Now gone their own ways, mainly a filler for Eric and Ernie when they went to Thames….

    But eventually they went they way of most of BBC Light Entertainment in the early 90’s… But if it saves us from feeble sketches involving Syd fighting a kangeroo… Then so be it…

    Now who mentioned health and safety, eh?

  3. Sleazy Martinez

    February 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Mention of Foxy Feeling and their increasingly desperate attempts to be “controversial” has reminded me of the way they’d introduce that weeks’ guests by singing their names along to their eponymous theme tune (i.e. “You get that Foxy Feeling, ah-hah.”)

    The one lodged in my brain is: “And we are Liquid Gold, ah-hah.”

    The only other person I’ve ever met that’s mentioned Liquid Gold was Budgie of Siouxsie And The Banshees. They were on the same episode of Top Of The Pops for some reason. Ah, the 80s.

  4. Applemask

    February 12, 2010 at 12:18 am

    As near as I can recall, the shtick was that Sid had no personality and Eddie wasn’t even halfway likeable. Interesting twist.

  5. Lee James Turnock

    May 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Rumour has it that Roger Daltrey still wakes up at night in a cold sweat, such was the trauma of working with this pair of twats during his post-Who solo phase…

  6. Paul Bovey

    June 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

    In the later years, I recall the pair dressing up as Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer, performing a ‘rap battle’.

  7. Richard16378

    June 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The self defence class that was actually a training centee for Poll Tax collectors was one sketch I remember making me laugh.

  8. Lee James Turnock

    March 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Having just watched one of their old Thames shows on Vimeo, I must say I’d entirely forgotten another salient aspect of their double act – they seemed to be completely ignorant as to how a double act should work. There was no dynamic between them, no real back and forth, no distinct characters – just Eddie going through his list of impersonations whilst Syd stood there like a giant unfunny garden gnome.

  9. Droogie

    March 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    For some reason I thought the dance troupe on L&L were called Birds Of A Feather. Am I thinking of another show? I do remember Eddie Large having a buxom dollybird assistant called (hilariously) Miss Bottomley who’d appear occasionally.

  10. Glenn A

    March 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Just a thought, Eddie Large looks rather like Bernard Manning in the photo and also comes from Manchester. Was he really Manning in disguise trying to keep his TV career going by doing a clean, un racist act?

  11. Joanne Gray

    November 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    In one of their shows, they did a funny send-up of two popular soaps of the time called “Crossroads Street”. The only thing I clearly remember about this sketch is Eddie Large as Sandy chasing someone up the street in his wheelchair. I do remember I laughed myself stupid at this (I was only about 7 or 8 at the time). Long shot, but does anyone have this on tape?

  12. Glenn Aylett

    July 4, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I hit puberty and realised this pair of berks were about as amusing as watching paint dry. Little and Large probably only appealed to children and old people who liked the wholesome nature of their humour, everyone else hated them. Also the act never seemed to change and I’m amazed Syd and Eddie lasted until 1991.

  13. richardpd

    July 5, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    In spite of the Mary Whitehouse Experience skit Eddie Large was willing to appear on Fantasy Football League, so presumably didn’t hold any grudges against David Baddiel.

    Another fairly amusing sketch was Eddie treating a child guitar prodigy like a novice (practice your D chord!) when this boy could play far better than Eddie could play far better than Eddie could. In the end Eddie ended up snapping the neck of his guitar in frustration as being so upstaged.

  14. Glenn Aylett

    December 4, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    @ richardpd, Eddie Large, growing up in Manchester( although being born in Glasgow), was a big Manchester City fan, as was Syd Little, and I can remember them occasionally mentioning the team on their television show. Fantasy Football League, with the middle class New Lad wannabe Baddiel, always left me cold as you had many guests on the show who clearly had no interest in football before it became fashionable in 1994 faking some love of the sport to keep their careers going.

  15. Richardpd

    December 4, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    I also noticed it was hit & miss of how interested some guests were on Fantasy Football League.

    Quite a bit of humour depended on knowing some trivia on players, teams etc, so some jokes didn’t really work unless viewers had a bit of inside knowledge.

    • Glenn Aylett

      December 5, 2021 at 11:24 am

      If you weren’t a football fan, it was about as meaningless as Football Focus. However, you did notice at the time how some celebrities who had never shown any interest in football before 1994 suddenly became big fans. Eddie Large to his credit was a real fan, though, and not a bandwagon jumper.
      Also regarding Little and Large as people, they didn’t fall out like their contemporaries Cannon and Ball and Eddie Large certainly didn’t let the fame go to his head like Bobby Ball, who could be obnoxious off stage and had a big fall out with Tommy Cannon until both discovered religion. Syd and Eddie remained friends right to the end and for all I wasn’t a fan, the double act lasted on television for 15 years, so they must have done something right.

      • THX 1139

        December 5, 2021 at 1:05 pm

        Didn’t Syd and Eddie fall out a few years before Eddie died? I think they reconciled shortly before his bad health overtook him, though.

        • Glenn Aylett

          December 5, 2021 at 3:44 pm

          @ THX 1139, I’m not sure about Little and Large falling out and it must have happened after their television career ended, but Cannon and Ball’s relationship became very strained in the mid eighties to the point they could barely tolerate each other. Interestingly both acts became popular around the same time and fizzled out at the same time and came from Greater Manchester.
          Another thing that interests me about Northern comedy duos, why did Lennie Bennett stop working with Gerry Stevens? Again this duo became popular in the late seventies and had a peak time show on BBC One, but at the height of their popularity in 1980, the partnership was dissolved.

          • George White

            December 6, 2021 at 9:38 pm

            AFAIK they were a manufactured duo – two comedians who’d never worked together brought together by the BBC, an attempt to create artificially a comedy duo rather than find a pre-existing union that had been doing the clubs for years like Little and Large or Cannon and Ball.

  16. Droogie

    December 4, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Eddie Large had one genuinely funny routine – what Celebrity’s car engines sounded like trying to start on a cold morning. Lulu, Harry Secombe, Tommy Cooper etc. It barely lasted 2 minutes, but it was funny.

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