Magazines - Good News, May 2008
Featured in the free 'Good News' newspaper, produced as part of the 2008 Hope Christian outreach initiative
The Gospel according to Cannon and Ball
MORE THAN 40 years after their partnership was formed, the comic duo Cannon and Ball continue to be hugely popular in comedy entertainment, still giving over 100 live performances to sell-out audiences every year.
In addition, they are known for their popular Gospel Show. Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball have been open and honest about the way God has transformed their professional and private lives. They have now remained staunchly and publicly committed to their faith for over 15 years and they have become a spiritual role model for many, particularly men.
Now they have produced a new book that showcases their unique and amusing view of life, with all its ups and downs. In The Gospel According to Cannon and Ball, true stories of the hazards of life on the road, performances in strange places and even stranger people encountered along the way, are mixed with humorous retellings of Bible stories, favourite jokes, and the strange ideas about Christianity they constantly come across. See below for our special offer on the book.
Bobby explains how he found a relationship with God: "At the height of our career I could actually have anything I wanted. I had so much money, I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. The problem was that nothing was ever enough. Whatever I had I wanted more of, but it never satisfied me. I became a very proud person, and I would treat people very badly and expect them to jump at my every demand. I was not a nice person to be near at all."
Bobby soon got into drinking heavily, seeing as many women as he could, and getting into fights as often as possible. "It was like living with a volcano," Bobby's wife Yvonne remembers. "You never knew when he was going to erupt."
Despite all this Bobby had been searching for the truth about God for some time. Having looked into many different religions he started to read his Bible: "What I really felt was very dirty, and I knew I needed forgiveness."
Bobby contacted Max Wigley, a theatre chaplain. Says Bobby, "He explained all about Jesus, and how his death on the cross could not only enable me to be forgiven but actually start again. I knew it was for me." Bobby asked Jesus into his life that day, and two months later his wife, Yvonne, became a Christian too.
Tommy noticed a change in his buddy almost immediately: "I couldn't believe it when he stopped getting drunk, but at first I just put it down to Bobby going through another one of his 'phases'." Soon Tommy wanted what Bobby had, and both Tommy and his wife Hazel made their own commitments to Christ.
Bobby says, "The career is not as important as our relationship with God; he pulled me out of a pit and set my feet on a rock, and I'll love him forever for that."
CLEAN HUMOUR: Cannon and Ball have always been family entertainers, but their lives are now as clean-cut as their jokes.