Comedian and actor Bobby Ball has died aged 76

Bobby Ball
(Image credit: EMPICS Entertainment)

Bobby Ball once described The Cannon & Ball Show as one of the highlights of his long career

Bobby Ball, who’s best known as one half of comedy double act Cannon and Ball, has died aged 76.

The star has died after being diagnosed with Covid-19. His friend and the other half of their long-running double act, Tommy Cannon, has led the tributes.

Tommy said: “Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this, I’m devastated.”

Comedian Jason Manford tweeted: “So heartbroken to read about the passing of comedy legend Bobby Ball. Such a hilarious man. The comedy community is a poorer place without him.”

When Lee’s dad (Bobby Ball) babysits, it sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in a huge fight between Lee and Lucy, the in-laws and former neighbours Anna and Toby (Abigail Cruttenden and Hugh Dennis).

Bobby Ball as Lee's father Frank in Not Going Out

Bobby was also known for his acting work, playing Lee Mack’s work shy dad in the long-running comedy Not Going Out.

He also enjoyed parts in Last of the Summer Wine, Benidorm and Heartbeat.

But he will be best remembered for his double act with Tommy Cannon. The duo appeared together on stage and screen for over 50 years. During the height of their success in the 1980s they appeared on Sunday Night Live at The London Palladium, the 1987 Royal Variety Performance and fronted The Cannon & Ball Show on ITV.

They also made numerous panto appearances together and the duo appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2005.

In 2018 the pair achieved a lifelong ambition by performing a one-off show in Las Vegas for ITV.

Talking to us about the experience at the time, Bobby said: “We’ve been a comedy duo for 55 years now, so we don’t really get nervous but we were quite nervous there because of all the other acts. But the minute we got onto the stage at The Orleans the atmosphere from the crowd was unbelievable – it really lifted us.”

Reflecting on the highlights of his career, Bobby told us: “A major highlight would be The Cannon & Ball Show, which ran on ITV for 11 years. And, more recently, doing I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. I just loved the jungle, I’d go back tomorrow.”

Main picture: PA Images

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

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