VETERAN comedy duo Cannon and Ball are being honoured for their 45-year career with a tribute night organised by a Bolton showbusiness charity.

The local branch of the Variety Club of Great Britain is arranging a glittering night at the Reebok on February 26 next year.

Cannon and Ball will be given a special award from the national Variety Club to thank them for their fund raising work, which has helped buy equipment for sick children.

The pair, who met in the early 1960s in Oldham while both working as welders, performed in the pubs and clubs of Lancashire before getting their big break in 1978 on “Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night” TV show.

Their brand of zany comedy captured the imagination of the nation, and they were soon given their own TV series which led to many years of national success. Even when variety entertainment took a dip in popularity, the duo worked continuously — in theatres and in pantomime — and had numerous TV cameo appearances as well as being in “I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!” in 2005.

With a resurgence in variety,, the comedians have been part of a sell-out “Best of British Variety Tour”. Bobby Ball has also teamed up with actress Casey Lee Jolleys to open a performance academy for youngsters in Bolton.

Paul Wild, chairman of the charity’s local branch, said: “They are remarkable performers and well deserve this official tribute.”

The £40-a-head event, including a meal, will boast a host of showbiz stars like comic Frank Carson and Bolton’s own Stu Francis, plus plenty of surprise guests.

For tickets ring Paul on 07717 821403.