With his comedy partner he once graced the stages of Blackpool’s famous theatres – now Eddie Large’s official portrait has been unveiled in the resort.
Eddie was one half of the popular double act Little and Large, whose TV sketch show was a mainstay of Saturday evening family entertainment in Britain from 1978 to 1991 and who performed in top venues across the land – including those in Blackpool.
Sadly Eddie died of Covid in 2020, at the age of 78, while these days Syd Little runs the Little Restaurant at the Steamer pub in Blackpool.
But now Eddie has been immortalised in a black and white portrait lovingly created by renowned artist, Robert Newbiggin, which has now gone on display at the Winter Gardens’ Floral Hall, following a private unveiling ceremony on Saturday.
The comedian’s family were there, along with some well known invited guests, including fellow funnymen Roy Walker and Tommy Cannon.
Ryan McGinnis, Eddie son, speaking on behalf of the family said: “We are so happy to be able to celebrate my dad in this way.
“His passing during Covid was so difficult for us as a family, but being here in Blackpool, remembering the good times and what an important part Little and Large playedin UK popular entertainment means a huge amount to us.”
Syd Little said of the portrait: “It’s so good I thought it was a photograph!”
Eddie, born Edward Hugh McGinnis in Glasgow, moved to Manchester as a youngster before meeting Syd (born Cyril John Mead) and beginning a double act in the 1960s.
They worked their way up the comedy ladder before hitting the big time, when they graced the stages of Blackpool over a span of twenty years, performing in six Blackpool summer seasons and making more than 1,000 appearances in the resort as top of the bill.
Appearing at the Opera House six times between 1979 and 1996, Little and Large also performed at the North Pier, Grand Theatre and Pleasure Beach’s Paradise Room during their Blackpool summer seasons and became a much loved part of the Blackpool entertainment scene.Showtown, Blackpool’s first museum of fun and entertainment will celebrate comedians like Little and Large and their significance to Blackpool when its doors open in 2023. Sharing stories, fun and laughter with the people of Blackpool and visitors to the town, the museum will celebrate the greatest show town on earth.Inside you’ll find six galleries on seaside holidays, magic, circus, shows, dance and the illuminations.Showtown will take you backstage, celebrating the many entertainers who all helped to turn Blackpool into the home of show business.Speaking of the new portrait and its place within the Winter Gardens, Coun Lynn Williams said: “Showtown is all about fun and Blackpool’s important role in the development of UK popular entertainment.
“Little and Large were a vital part of that world and it’s entirely appropriate that the portrait will be on public display here in the Winter Gardens where Eddie and Syd performed on so many occasions.”
Spencer Philips, Chairman of the Board for Showtown said: “It has been an absolute joy to work with Eddie’s family to make this happen. For more information on Blackpool’s side-tickling, eye-popping, toe-tapping, mind-boggling museum of fun and entertainment visit www.showtownblackpool.co.uk