Comedy duo’s plea to locals: Buy a ticket!

Bobby Ball and Tommy Cannon with acrobat Amelia at the theatre's season launch.

Bobby Ball and Tommy Cannon with acrobat Amelia at the theatre's season launch.

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Comedy favourites Cannon and Ball launched the Grand Theatre’s summer season – and told people to start supporting the arts and the town.

Audience numbers for live entertainment in the resort have been on the decline, not helped by the tough economic climate. And Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball, celebrating their 51st year as a double-act, warn local landmarks like The Grand are in danger of disappearing if they aren’t backed by locals .

The comedy duo have signed up for a seven-week run at the Grand, from July to September.

They are appearing in two brand new shows, the family-friendly Step Back in Time and the racier Ooh La La, featuring dancing girls, jugglers, music and - as you’d expect from the headliners - plenty of comedy.

“I am more excited about this than I’ve been about anything we’ve done at a theatre in many a year,” said Bobby, 69, who lives in St Annes. “It is a long time since Blackpool has seen anything like this.

“But it is up to all of us to build an excitement about the theatre in the town and to get people through the door, otherwise it will slowly go.”

Tommy, 74, added: “I think people have somehow got the wrong image of Blackpool in recent times.

“They think it isn’t family orientated and stopped coming. We need to get those people back.”

The Grand Theatre’s chief executive Neil Thomson admitted: “There’s a lot riding on the shows,” but added “We hope they will be a big success.”

The shows run from July 23 to September 7. Tickets from £15 are available from www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or the box office on (01253) 743339.