Comedy legend Tommy Cannon begins a short stint in Emmerdale on Thursday 19th September. One half of beloved double act Cannon and Ball, along with partner Bobby Ball, ‘Rock On’ Tommy rocks up as curmudgeonly Derek, one of village GP Manpreet Sharma’s patients.
Show bosses have teased the brief run will have major consequences for some of the regular characters…
Cannon is not the first veteran performer with a comedic pedigree to guest star in a continuing drama – remember the soap visits from these funny favourites?
Peter Kay (Coronation Street)
Bolton’s most famous son briefly popped up as a shopfitter in 1997 before he hit the big time, but his next appearance was more tailored to his talents. Eric Gartside, the drippy brewery drayman, provided a light-hearted interlude for barmaid Shelley Unwin (played by Kay’s real-life pal Sally Lindsay) who enjoyed a disastrous date with the mummy’s boy in 2004.
David Walliams (EastEnders)
Before Britain’s Got Talent and blockbuster children’s books, Walliams was a comedian who did a bit of acting on the side and in 2003 he popped up in the biggest prime time slot on British TV – EastEnders’ Christmas Day episode. Walliams played gormless Ray Collins, an old mate of Alfie Moon’s drafted in at the last minute to pose as the registrar for his wedding to Kat Slater to stall while waiting for his divorce from his ex to come through.
Norman Wisdom (Coronation Street)
Sir Norman made a cameo on the cobbles in 2004 as Ernie Crabbe, a plucky pensioner who purchased an exercise bike off Vera Duckworth so he could get in shape for a local bowls championship. He jogged all the way to the street after seeing the sale advertised in the local paper – not bad, considering Wisdom was nearly 90 at the time.
Lou & Andy (Neighbours)
Walliams cropped up again with on-screen partner Matt Lucas in one of the more bizarre soap comic cameos: the Little Britain double act’s dialogue-free appearance in Neighbours in 2007 was borderline surreal. Cashing in on the popularity of the sketch show characters down under, they were in the background in a scene in the bar – while Andy chatted to Harold Bishop, Lou leapt out of his wheelchair to play on the arcade machine, jumping back in his seat before his friend noticed.
Paddy McGuinness (Coronation Street)
One of Kay’s comedy companions, the Take Me Out host played Dougie Ryan, a holidaymaker obsessed with outdoor pursuits who Tyrone, Chesney, and the Tinkers met during a camping trip in 2015. They soon wished they’d pitched their tent as far away from the Bear Grylls wannabe as possible. No lighty, no likey indeed…
Vic Reeves (Coronation Street)
Credited under his real name Jim Moir, the comedian’s 2017 Corrie stint as would-be media mogul Colin Callen was steeped in his hilarious heritage, right down to the natty suits and quick-fire patter. In fairness this was more than a cameo – Colin stuck around for a couple of months and at one point had Norris convinced he was long-lost dad, and he briefly seized control of the Kabin from Rita. He ran off with Moira from the GP surgery, who returned to Weatherfield a few months later revealing Colin had broken her heart.
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