Little and Large
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|Little and Large|
Syd Little (left) with Eddie Large (right) and Susie Silvey
|Medium||Film, television, stand-up, music, books|
|Genres||Observational comedy, musical comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||marriage, everyday life, current events, pop culture|
Little and Large are a British comedy double act comprising straight man Syd Little (Born Cyril Mead in 1942) and comic Eddie Large (born Edward McGinnis in Glasgow in 1941). They formed their partnership in 1962, originally appearing as singers in local pubs around north-west England. According to an interview with Eddie Large in Metro newspaper (January 11, 2019), they went professional in October 1963. After deciding to concentrate on comedy, Little and Large's big break came in 1971 when they appeared on ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
They went on to win the programme's vote (though Opportunity Knocks viewer votes were subsequently alleged to have been largely disregarded in favour of rigged results), which turned them into household names virtually overnight.
Within five years, the duo had their own primetime show on ITV called The Little and Large Tellyshow. It began with a pilot episode in 1976, which earned the pair a commission for a series in 1977. However, the duo later transferred themselves to BBC1 with a new show called The Little and Large Show from 1978, and remained on the channel for several series until cancelled in 1991. At its peak, the series was watched by an estimated nearly 15 million people each week.
Eddie Large was generally the funny man while Syd Little was the more serious 'straight guy'. Eddie Large performed a number of impressions, particularly cartoon characters like Deputy Dawg and Woody Woodpecker, while Syd Little simply stood next to him, looking perplexed and distressed.
They continued to appear in theatres and pantomimes, including "Babes in the Woods" written by Ian Billings. The two were at the peak of their popularity, along with Cannon and Ball, in the 1980s. However, as mainstream comedy moved away from their pantomime style towards alternative comedy, their popularity dwindled.
Eddie Large was told that he might have a heart attack at any moment. The partnership split up when Eddie Large had to have a heart transplant.
Syd Little performs on cruise ships, notably on the QE2 during September 2007, and used to run The "Little" Restaurant at The Strawberry Gardens pub and now runs a restaurant in the oldest pub in his hometown of Fleetwood called The Steamer.
Eddie Large remains in showbusiness. Large said in an interview in 2010 that he had not spoken to Syd Little for several years.
Little is a member of the showbiz association "Christians in Entertainment" run by Pastor Chris Gidney.
In 2018, both Little and Large appeared on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway featuring in their sketch serial "Saturday Knight Takeaway". In February 2019 Little and Large appeared together as a pair on Pointless Celebrities. They reached the head-to-head round (in effect, the semi-final).
They are scheduled to appear in a discussion event at Bristol Old Vic theatre on January 18, 2019 as part of the city's annual Slapstick comedy festival.
- "Little and Large 'haven't spoken for a long time'". The Independent. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/little-and-large-havent-spoken-for-a-long-time-1988413.html, 1 June 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- 'The Story of Light Entertainment' BBC Two, 25 February 2012
- "Little and Large 'haven't spoken for a long time'". The Independent. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2013.