| 14.6°C Belfast

Eddie Large: A comedian who delighted the nation for decades

It was announced on Thursday that the comedian had died after contracting coronavirus in hospital.

Close

Eddie Large died aged 78 (Yui Mok/PA)

Eddie Large died aged 78 (Yui Mok/PA)

Eddie Large died aged 78 (Yui Mok/PA)

Eddie Large – who has has died aged 78 after contracting coronavirus – shot to fame on one of television’s early talent shows as half of comedy duo Little and Large.

Alongside comedy partner Syd Little, Large won the 1971 edition of Opportunity Knocks with their comedy skits, before going on to perform impressions on the Who Do You Do series.

The pair eventually landed their own hit BBC One sketch programme The Little And Large Show in 1978.

Close

Large was born in Glasgow (PA)

Large was born in Glasgow (PA)

PA

Large was born in Glasgow (PA)

The show enjoyed a 13-year stint on television screens as the duo delighted the nation with their light-hearted brand of humour until it left the airwaves in 1991.

In a 2010 interview with the TV Times, Large said the pair had been “kicked out because the ratings went down to about eight million”.

He added: “When they get eight million now they’re having champagne parties, but that’s just the way of the world.”

Despite their decades-long association, the double act did not always remain on close personal terms.

Close

Large won Opportunity Knocks in 1971 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Large won Opportunity Knocks in 1971 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

PA

Large won Opportunity Knocks in 1971 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

In the 2010 interview Large said he had not seen Little “for years”.

“He lives up near Blackpool and I live near Bristol, so I haven’t spoken to him for a long time.

“I’m not dashing 200 miles up the country to do a stand-up show, then 200 miles back.”

Large would later return to the broadcaster on satirical comedy The Impressionable Jon Culshaw, when he cross-dressed to play Labour MP Clare Short.

Close

Large found fame alongside comedy partner Syd Little (PA)

Large found fame alongside comedy partner Syd Little (PA)

PA

Large found fame alongside comedy partner Syd Little (PA)

Little and Large got back in touch with each other in recent years and appeared together on Good Morning Britain in 2017 when Large went on air to talk about his struggles with his health.

He said doctors had told him he could “drop dead any minute” after he fell ill in 2000, and advised him to stop performing.

The comedian said a heart transplant saved his life and he encouraged people to sign up to become organ donors.

Large, whose real name was Edward McGinnis, was born in Glasgow but spent much of his youth living in Manchester before moving to Portishead, near Bristol, as an adult.

Large is reportedly survived by his wife Patsy and their three children.

PA