In 1947 Tommy came out of the services. At first he struggled to make a living.
He began touring the theatre and variety club circuit in England.
Then the BBC were looking for new acts, the Beeb's talent spotter's agreed to audition the young man. They were 'Underwhelmed' by the experience. 'Performance - Comedy patter with cod magic. Description - Unattractive young man with an extremely unfortunate appearance.' Was the spotters opinion. Nevertheless the 'Head of Light Entertainment' thought Tommy 'A potentially big star.'
He made his television debut in Leslie Henson's Christmas Eve Party.
He then performed in variety theatres and at Londons' famous
Windmill Theatre, where he once did 52 shows in a week.
Billed as 'Tommy Cooper almost a magician.'
That same year his television career was launched and by the late
1960’s he recorded his sixth hugely successful television series
and was a well established and favourite entertainer for British
television viewers of all ages.
In 1964 he appeared at the London Palladium in the
Royal Command Performance.
By now Tommy was one of the highest paid, most sought after
television stars of his time but live performances were where he
was happiest and most at home.
Much of his life was spent on the road, often turning down lucrative
television deals in order to continue touring variety clubs and
theatres. Touring offered him the lifestyle he wanted.
In 1969 he was voted ITV's Personality of the Year.
Between 1973 and 1980 he made 28 shows for ITV.
In 1977 Tommy had a heart attack whilst in Rome, and after lung trouble he had to forgo his affection for cigars.
His last performance in April of 1984 was from Her Majesty’s Theatre and was a live television show.