1 9 7 8 – 1 9 9 1 (UK)
78 x 60 minute episodes
Having played for several years in pubs and working men’s clubs, British comedy duo Little and Large got their big break in 1971 when they appeared on ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
Within five years, the duo had their own prime-time show on ITV called The Little and Large Tellyshow (1977) which wasn’t successful. But the pair transferred to the BBC and their new Little and Large show aired from 1978 for over a decade until its eventual cancellation in 1991.
Lugubrious straight man “Supersonic” Syd Little (real name, Cyril Mead) would attempt to have a serious discussion with the audience or play a song on his guitar, only to be constantly interrupted by frenetic Eddie Large (born Edward McGinnis), whose repertoire consisted of impersonations of popular celebrities of the day (and – for some reason – always cartoon character Deputy Dawg), corny jokes and comedy versions of pop songs.
Guests over the years included Gene Pitney, Petula Clark, Lulu, Madness, ABC, Shakin’ Stevens, Bananarama, Status Quo, The Stray Cats, Squeeze, The Four Tops, Boney M, Fine Young Cannibals, The Shadows, Cliff Richard, Westworld, Showaddywaddy and Bucks Fizz.
Although often critically derided, the series was watched by an estimated nearly 15 million people each week at its peak. The show finally ended in April 1991 due to a decline in popularity. Little and Large were not seen on television again.
Eddie Large died on 2 April 2020 after catching COVID-19 whilst in hospital with heart failure. He was 78.