‘Wonderful memories’ to be made once more

Des O'Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck
Des O'Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck

They’ve been on stage for a combined total of more than 100 years, now Des O’Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck are pairing up for a show in Blackpool.

The singer and the comic were both regulars in the resort during its entertainment heydays - although Des O’Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck: Live, at the Opera House on Saturday, July 29, will mark the former’s debut on that hallowed stage.

And until 2015, they’d never worked together, until they joined forces for what was intended to be one night only at the London Palladium in aid of the Royal Variety Charity.

Such was its success that dates were planned through 2016, and into 2017 too.

Harking back to the good old days of variety, the show features comedian Jimmy in the first half followed by singer and reconteur Des in the second act.

Speaking from a golf club - where else would you expect him to be when not working? - Jimmy said they were looking forward to combing back to the resort.

“Blackpool has wonderful memories,” he said. “It was the first really big summer season I did. Mike and Bernie Winters and Danny Williams on North Pier. I did six seasons there, at the ABC, all over.

“It was a beggar getting to work [on North Pier] some nights [with the weather], you would think ‘there will be no one here’, but they had battled down the pier, they made the effort so you worked harder.

“At that time there were the three piers, the Opera House, ABC, Queens, it went on, and there were shows all round the town.

“And then there were all the trappings of Blackpool; I got to play golf at Royal Lytham and North Shore.”

Although the years have passed, Jimmy and Des have more than 162 years between them, they’re both having fun on the road, with no real signs of slowing down.

“I’m never off the road,” said Des. “This year I’m doing three different concerts, a one man show and cabaret, and going with Jimmy.

“I’m thinking what the heck am I doing, it’s always fun.

“When you have done as much as me and Jimmy, we know how to do it. It’s just a case of getting the audience in the right mood.”

* Des O’Connor & Jimmy Tarbuck – LIVE, Saturday, July 29, 7.30pm. Call 0844 856 1111 to book.