‘Laurel and Hardy are Coming!’, the headline screamed in the Evening News on this day in 1947.
The paper was welcoming the ‘firm favourites of the film-going public who had made no fewer than 169 pictures during the last 20 years’.
Stan and Ollie were the guest stars in a week-long stint at the Kings Theatre in 1947, presented by theatrical impresario Bernard Delfont.
The comedy duo had arrived at Southampton docks on the Queen Elizabeth and quickly began a gruelling tour playing up to 13 shows a week.
Suffering from ill-health, their declining years were spent making three tours of Britain playing out sketches for their adoring public.
Appearing alongside them on the bill at Southsea was a dog act and trick unicyclist – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.