Little & Large
LITTLE & LARGE were a regular Act at the (now demolished) Woodhouse Park Labour Club, on Selstead Road, off Portway and his mother ran the off-licence at Minsterley Parade, whilst his niece ran the Red Beret Pub on Portway in Wythenshawe.
The "Little & Large Show" was a top-billing television show of the 1980s - it featured Eddie Large and Syd Little. Their double act was always Manchester-based, and became a household name during their heyday in the late 1980s when their comedy shows were the most highly rated on BBC Television. The 'Little & Large' duo began in 1963 when they met at the Stonemason's Arms pub in Wythenshawe.
Eddie Large, was born Edward McGinnis in 1941 in Glasgow, but his family moved to live in a red brick terraced house opposite the Maine Road Stadium of Manchester City Football Club when he was just 10 years old. He came to regard Manchester as his "home town". He attended Claremont Road Primary School nearby.
Syd Little was born Cyril Mead in Blackpool in 1942 and later moved to Wythenshawe, where he attended Yew Tree Secondary Modern School.
In 1963, Syd Little had a one man show, singing to the electric guitar. During his performance Eddie began heckling in a comic manner, saying he could do better himself. Syd called his bluff and invited him to join him on stage, where the two went on to receive rapturous applause from the audience for their unscripted impromptu performance.
The formula was retained and Little & Large was born. They began to appear in many local Manchester clubs, including three shows at Bernard Manning's Embassy Club in Harpurhey, where they shared billing with another as yet unknown comedy act, Cannon & Ball. Television fame came when they appeared on and won in the television show "Opportunity Knocks" in 1971, which was quickly followed by many spot appearances on other television shows.
In 1977, Thames Television offered them their own series. That same year they attracted full-house audiences appearing live at Blackpool , with a record breaking season. In November of that same year they were invited to appear live in the Royal Variety Show. Their professional television career ran from 1977 to 1991, when their show was dropped by the BBC.
Since then they have pursed their careers in live shows and club appearances. Eddie Large currently lives in Bristol , but as an avid fan of Manchester City he regularly drives down to watch them play football at Maine Road. He is also a keen golfer.
Throughout their career, Little & Large continued to use the original format which they had discovered in the pub in Wythenshawe, and their hall mark was slapstick humour, with Syd still trying vainly to play the guitar and Eddie constantly heckling and berating him. It was, Eddie admits, reminiscent of the Morecambe & Wise style, (who were their main influence), though they never quite achieved the pre-eminence of their heroes.
Today, apart from their regular guest appearances on TV, they are not seen so often on the `small box`, but are still in great demand for their popular live shows across the country, and on many of the most luxurious cruise liners. Little & Large opened the brand new prestigious night spot `The Paradise Room` on Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach. After 16 weeks of record-breaking business, they were instantly re-booked for the following season. Their brilliantly funny Pantomimes also continue to regularly break box office records.