I'll never forget when I was playing the Palladium ... I drew a line a mile long,
but the manager made me go out and erase it!

"Tom wasn't at his best on TV. You had to see Tom on the stage because then he was really good. He could grab an audience like no one. He was too big for TV." ​Eric Sykes  

Here is a rundown of most of his theatre appearances over the years

Late 1947: Tommy gets his big break with Miff Ferrie, a trombonist in a band called 'The Jackdaws'. Miff booked him to appear as the second spot comedian in a show starring 'Marqueeze and the Dance of the Seven Veils' - a sand-dancing outfit of that time.

As soon as Ferrie took charge of his career, Tommy began a two-year period of hard toil, a period that included a tour of Europe and a stint in panto, where he played one of the ugly sisters in Cinderella. This culminated in a season long booking at the Windmill theatre.

Here Tommy doubled up doing cabarets and one week he did 52 shows. An astonishing amount of work for anyone.

1948-1951: During these years he played every first-class London nightclub - and every time the bookings were extended. He was so popular every club in the capital wanted a piece of him.

He played the Windermere Club in Regent Street and was a great success. From there he then got booked at the Collins Music Hall. In August 1949 he appeared at the Palace Theatre in Huddersfield.

All West End engagements, which included cabaret seasons at the Savoy, Berkely, Washington Hotels, Ciro's, the Embassy, Colony, Astor, Quagliano's, Churchills, Bagatelle etc. In all of these he was either held over or given return dates. 

March 1951- Feb 1952:  Resident at the London Hippodrome in the entire run of the show called Encore Des Follies - He appeared in this shows' entire two year run. 

1952 July 7th: Makes his debut at the London Palladium where he stole the show.  After that his first tour for the Moss Empire circuit, appearing in the Rockin in Rhythm show on the undercard to Winifred Atwell. Later at Newcastle he topped the bill himself.
  1. 1947 Poster
    1947 Poster
  2. Folies Bergere Souvenir
    Folies Bergere Souvenir
  3. Early Cabaret
    Early Cabaret
  4. Empire Poster
    Empire Poster
1953: He was in a revue called The Peep Show Revue Tour. In this he was allowed to be both comic and magician. Taking in many auditoriums, including the Brighton Hippodrome and the Derby Hippodrome. After this he again appeared at the London Palladium in a special bill for the coronation season.  He was rapidly becoming a favourite of the Royals and on November 5th he made his first of many appearances on the Royal Variety Peformance at the London Coliseum.
  1. Hippodrome Poster
    Hippodrome Poster
  2. Peep Show!
    Peep Show!
  3. Danny Thomas Tops the Bill
    Danny Thomas Tops the Bill
  4. London Coliseum 2nd November 1953
    London Coliseum 2nd November 1953
1954: ​​ United States of America​​
Returns to the UK. Plays the King in Humpty Dumpty at the Dudley Hippodrome. Then onto the Garrick Theatre, Stockport for a spate of shows.

1955 April: Appears at The Prince of Wales Theatre, in Piccadilly Circus, co-starring with Benny Hill in Paris By Night. This show ran for 17 months to September 1956.

  1. Paris By Night
    Paris By Night
  2. A New Folies Bergere Revue!
    A New Folies Bergere Revue!
  3. Tommy in action.....
    Tommy in action.....
  4. Down the Stairway
    Down the Stairway
1956: He was second on the billing, behind Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warris, for the birthday season at The Coventry Theatre. Early 1957 he played the King in ​Puss in Boots at the Manchester Hippodrome.​​

1957: Went back to what he does best. He did the summer season at the North Pier Pavillion in Blackpool, appearing alongside Ruby Murray. Then he came back to London to star with one of his heroes, Arthur Askey, in Robinson Crusoe.

1958: Pantomime, again Puss in Boots this time in Bournemouth. 

1959-1962: A very busy time for Tommy. He did The Hippodrome in Brighton, Sunday Night at the Palladium (TV), The Billy Cotton Band Show (TV), He appeared at the Prince of Wales theatre in Blue Magic, alongside Shirley Bassey. Then Christmas season at the Manchester Opera House, the spring season at the Coventry Theatre, the summer season at the Princess Theatre, Torquay with Morecambe and Wise, the autumn season in Manchester at the Palace Theatre in a production of King Cole with Alfred Marks. Then it was panto time again, at the Alhambra in Bradford. Throughout this time he was performing even though he'd got a slipped disc! He completed a twenty-week season in Blackpool before finally getting treatment on his back. Then he flew to Aden to entertain the British Army before flying back for panto in Manchester.

  1. Robinson Crusoe
    Robinson Crusoe
  2. 1959 Blue Magic
    1959 Blue Magic
  3. Just Like That!
    Just Like That!
  4. Shirley Bassey....
    Shirley Bassey....
1963-1965: A summer season at the Pavillion Theatre in Bournmouth with Millicent Martin & The Kaye Sisters. In November 1963 he appeared in the Timber Trades concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Also ​​Sunday Night at the Palladium (TV), the London Palladium summer show, the Royal Command Performance (TV), the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Golders Green Hippodrome, cabaret at the Blackpool Queens Theatre.​​ Startime! with Frankie Vaughan at the Palladium.​

1966-1969: A season at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, a mega-bucks location if ever there was one. Headlining with "The funniest man in Britain comes to the  Button Supper Club. When Tommy came back to the UK he was, for the first time,  top of the bill on Sunday Night at the London Palladium (TV). A summer season at Bournmouth Winter Gardens breaking all box office records into the bargain. Record breaking summer seasons at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool and at the Floral Hall, Scarborough, in his show called Cooper Live-size.

1970: London Palladium summer show in a 23 week run.  Later in the year, December 17th, he starred in his very own Christmas Party show at the Coventry Theatre.

1971: He was in the Royal Variety Performance. He also starred in To See Such Fun, at the London Palladium, this also featured Clive 'Don't Panic' Dunn. Plus everyone's favourite TV girl of the time Anita Harris and pianist Russ Conway as well as acrobatic funsters The Stupids. In the spring he was on stage in Oxford, the summer Skegness and the winter, Margate.

1973: Summer season again in Skegness at the Pier Theatre. During the rest of seventies Tommy still mademany, many more appearances. But fitting them in around his hectic TV schedule was a problem. Nevertheless, rarely did he have any spare time to himself he was an absolute workaholic, he loved it.

In February 1983 Tommy went on his last overseas tour. This was when he made, despite worsening health, the journey to the Middle East. With a schedule that a younger man would struggle to fulfil.
  1. With Vince Hill
    With Vince Hill
  2. Kaye Sisters!
    Kaye Sisters!
  3. Startime!
  4. Live Size!
    Live Size!
  5. Middle East Tour Itinerary
    Middle East Tour Itinerary
  6. To See Such Fun , at the London Palladium
    To See Such Fun , at the London Palladium