Pulling in 12 million viewers a week during their 1980s heyday, some easily imitable catchphrases and a cheeky chappies routine making them popular with both older and younger viewers (a weekly strip in junior TV Times, Look-In, helped the latter) Cannon and Ball were ITV’s golden boys for over a decade.
This release of their second series sees a change in title sequence and set but the same old set-up which proved so successful in series one: have the boys take centre stage and engage in some banter before acting out a few sketches, invariably involving one or both of them trying to pull a bird or outwit some new foe.
A quick scan through the guest list reveals names such as Diana Dors and Peggy Mount, about as ITV as one could get at the time, and hardly likely to lead to controversial television.
Indeed, writer Sid Green, perhaps best known for his work with Morcambe and Wise, sticks to traditional set-ups and pay-offs and the half hours are all the better for it, with the performers even struggling to keep a straight face at times.
Those looking for anything deep and meaningful will be disappointed, but then they’re unlikely to have picked up this set in the first place. For a trip down memory lane, and a glimpse at how simplicity is often best, Cannon and Ball really can’t be faulted.