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RIP Bobby Ball

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  • RIP Bobby Ball

    Bobby Ball - the funnyman of the comedy double act Cannon and Ball has sadly died from coronavirus at the age of 76. As we know from earlier on this year, another double act member, Eddie Large of Little and Large fame had died from COVID-19 as well - how cruel that the virus has targeted two of Britain's best-loved comedy double acts this year. It is sad that they were one of the few living double acts around until just now - Tommy Cannon was older than Bobby Ball.

    Ball's bushy black moustache trademark red braces and his "Rock On, Tommy" became a familiar household catchphrase associated with the comedian - a teacher at my school who also had a black moustache also looked like Bobby Ball as well.

    As a double act, Cannon and Ball were almost successors to Morecambe and Wise, but even when Eric and Ernie were on the BBC, the former welder from Oldham, born Robert Harper, got his big break on Granada's Wheeltappers and Shunters' Social Club in the mid 1970s. His welding colleague, born Thomas Derbyshire adopted the stage name of Tommy Cannon and the two of them made it big on TV screens in the 1980s. They were to have sketches seen on Bruce Forsyth's Big Night in 1978, but the show was packed with so much material that they were bumped out every week and had to wait for their own show over a year later.

    Cannon and Ball's first own series in 1979 became a victim of the ITV Network strike and so it wasn't until 1980 that they shows became familiar to millions of viewers. LWT were very kind to them, giving them comedy sketch and stand up shows with star guests such as Shakin' Stevens and Paul Young. In 1983 Ball appeared in the policeman comedy film The Boys in Blue, loosely based on Will Hay's famous film. Talking a break from television in 1985, they did two series of a sitcom which was a change to their usual routine. By 1990, Yorkshire Television signed them up to do a series of Casino, which was supposed to be a replacement for 3-2-1 but failed after one series. A year later, Ball appeared in the sitcom Plaza Patrol about two security guards manning a shopping centre.

    The remainder of the 1990s meant guest appearances on other people's shows such as Jim Davidson's Generation Game, and after that, stints in the theatre usually doing pantomimes and summer seasons. It is also worth mentioning that Ball was introduced to religion by Max Wrigley, the Chaplain of the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford when he and Cannon had performed at that theatre - one could think of it as a legacy in hindsight. In the early 1990s, Bobby Ball made a foray into children's television to narrate the almost forgotten BBC series Juniper Jungle.

    I very nearly booked tickets myself to see Cannon and Ball at the Bridlington Spa Theatre on my 40th birthday in 2018, but something else which was happening at a theatre down south was on at the same time, and I book tickets to see that show instead - in hindsight, I wish I had seen Tommy and Bobby on my birthday after all. Little did I know that it would have been one of the last. I know that a woman had booked tickets to see performance to see him in pantomime in Wales a few years ago, and I believe that Cannon and Ball were going to appear in pantomime this year as well, had the coronavirus not closed down the theatres and cancelled panto performances until next year - nevertheless, we won't see Ball next year for obvious reasons.

    RIP - Bobby Ball will be rocking on forever as far as I am concerned.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  • #2
    Re: RIP Bobby Ball

    Not to my taste but a great shame none the less....RIP Bobby ball
    Ejector seat?...your jokin!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: RIP Bobby Ball

      Rock on Tommy RIP Bobby

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: RIP Bobby Ball

        Arrghhhhh, you got my skin there, RIP Bobby
        DON'T TELL HIM YOUR NAME PIKE!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: RIP Bobby Ball

          RIP Bobby
          turned into a good comedy actor

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          • #6
            Re: RIP Bobby Ball

            R I P BOBBY ANOTHER MEMBER OF A DOUBLE ACT TO DIE OF COVID.
            R I P BOTH OF U.
            FOR THE HONOUR OF GRAYSKULL

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