Scarborough entertainment boss Tony Peers' tribute to Eddie Large, who has died of coronavirus - 'he was a smashing fella'
Scarborough impresario Tony Peers today paid tribute to comedian Eddie Large who has died at the age of 78 from coronavirus.
The entertainment boss who runs Tony Peers Productions worked with Eddie, real name real name Edward McGinnis, and his comedy partner Syd Little in the pantomime Aladdin in Reading.
It was the first time Mr Peers had played the dame - Widow Twankey - and the show was produced by Nick Thomas, the boss of Scarborough-based panto giant Qdos.
"Eddie was a smashing guy, a really nice fella," said Mr Peers who produces an annual summer show and pantomime for Scarborough Spa.
"His death has come as a big shock. I knew both Eddie and Syd very well. We worked together in the cabaret clubs too," he said.
"It's terribly sad to think that Eddie is not here anymore. What makes it worse is, because of the restrictions in place, we will not be able to go to the funeral," said Mr Peers.
At the height of their fame Little and Large had their own TV series and did summer seasons at Blackpool and played Scarborough including at what was the Futurist on the seafront.
The double act broke up in 1991 when it became clear Large had heart problems and could not cope with the rigours of touring.
Large had a heart transplant in 2003, and became an spokesman for the British Heart Foundation.
Me Peers and Mr Thomas were instrumental in getting the two men talking to each other again after Large revealed in 2010 they had not spoken for years.
"We put on a show called Encore in Blackpool and invited them both. That was the first time they had spoken to each other for years," said Mr Peers.
In recent years Mr Peers brought Syd Little to work at Scarborough Spa.
Little said he was "devastated" by the news. "He had been ill for a while but when it happens, it hits you," he said.
"We were together 60 years," he told BBC Radio Lancashire. "It wasn't like having a partner. We were friends."
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.