hard act to follow


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a hard act to follow

Someone or something so exemplary that it overshadows anything that follows. I don't know how Mel's replacement will be received by the staff. He was so admired and respected that he'll be a tough act to follow. That award-winning play will be a tough act to follow on Broadway.
See also: act, follow, hard

hard act to follow

Also, tough act to follow. An outstanding performance or individual. For example, Lucy was a terrific group leader-hers is a hard act to follow, or Bob's record is excellent-it will be a tough act to follow. This expression, dating from about 1900, was originally used for a particularly good vaudeville act that made the next act look poor by comparison. It soon was extended to other enterprises.
See also: act, follow, hard
References in periodicals archive ?
After the refreshments break, Selina Ross thanked Jean for the hard work she had done over the last three years as president and said she would be a hard act to follow.
When someone scores that many goals, it's a hard act to follow.
Huge thanks to Alwyn for his Unstinting work on our behalf in Cardiff - I have a hard act to follow.
Scotland'S craig Watson admits he has a hard act to follow after succeeding nigel Edwards as Walker cup captain.
If it is sold, new owners are going to have a really hard act to follow. Mark O'Neill, L3
"He will be a very hard act to follow but I am looking forward to the campaign."
Azar Jammine, chief economist of advisory service Econometrix said, No matter how you look at it, Marcus is going to be a hard act to follow .
Hannon jnr has a hard act to follow at the Sussex venue as his old man, Richard, dominated on the Downs before passing the baton on to his son this season.
Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, said: "While we recognise that Tommy the Trumpeter is a hard act to follow, this is a new era for the Summer Festival."
He will be missed by thousands of Gazette readers and will be a hard act to follow.
And Ash certainly got into the swim of things - but she's always a hard act to follow.
Farewell gaffer - a class act, a hard act to follow.
Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the FAW, said: "John will be a hard act to follow for sure, but in appointing Gwyn, we are confident that we have found somebody to take on this opportunity and deliver."
Even for Simon Cowell, last night was a hard act to follow.
Let's hope Blaenau Gwent next year can live up to our National Eisteddfod standards, they have a hard act to follow!