Bobby’s death – Newspaper Tributes

On Friday 30th October, the day following Bobby’s death, all the national newspapers included tributes to Bobby, with some featuring him on the front page. Some quotes from the articles are below. 

Daily Express

I’ve lost my partner, my best friend and the funniest man I know

Comedian Tommy Cannon was left “devastated” yesterday following the death of his double-act partner Bobby Ball at the age of 76.

mmy, with who Bobby found fame on the smash hit The Cannon And Ball Show, which ran from 1979 to 1988, said: “Rock on, my good friend.” He later wrote on Twitter: “I’m absolutely devastated, I’ve lost my partner, my best friend and the funniest man I know.”

Yvonne added: “I will always miss him, he was so joyful, full of fun and mischievous.”

Big laughs are Bobby’s legacy

Bobby Ball rose from the northern cabaret circuit to become a household name. As part of Cannon and Ball, with long-standing partner Tommy Cannon, he delighted the nation with slapstick and wordplay … Ball was known for twanging his braces and declaring: “Rock on, Tommy.”

Their career took off after their first big show in 1979. Saturday night’s The Cannon And Ball Show ran until 1988 and was one of the London Weekend Television network’s most successful entertainment programmes.


The Times

Bobby Ball

One half of the comedy double act Cannon and Ball who were a fixture on TV screens in the 1980s but struggled with their fame.

Though critics had tended to be sniffy about Cannon and Ball, dismissing them as a second-rate Morecambe and Wise, for a decade or so throughout the 1980s they were among the most popular performers on television. Ball, small and cheeky with a mop of dark hair, twanging his red braces, was the comic and Cannon, suave and self-confident, the straight man.

Reflecting on his career in a 2015 interview, Ball concluded: “It’s been a massive honour to entertain people. That’s all I want written on my gravestone: ‘He gave us a laugh.’”


The Guardian

‘Rock on, my friend’: Cannon’s tribute to Ball after comic dies aged 76

Bobby Ball, one half of the comedy double act Cannon and Ball, has died at the age of 76 after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Cannon and Ball Show was first broadcast on ITV in 1979 and it continued to air until 1988, attracting huge audiences. Ball also appeared as Frank in 18 episodes of Lee Mack’s long-running BBC sitcom Not Going Out and recorded a new series a few weeks ago.

Phil Dale, his manager, said: “It is with great personal sadness that on behalf of Yvonne Ball and the family, and Tommy Cannon, I announce that Bobby Ball passed away at Blackpool Victoria hospital on 28 October 2020.


Half of the hugely popular comedy duo Cannon and Ball who enjoyed television success in the 1980s

Bobby Ball, who has died aged 76 after testing positive for coronavirus, was the irresponsible but anxious to please half of the comedy duo Cannon and Ball, famous for twanging his braces alongside the serious Tommy Cannon. “Rock on, Tommy!” was his catchphrase.

They fulfilled the prophecy made by Eric Morecambe just before his death that Cannon and Ball would inherit Morecambe and Wise’s crown by becoming television’s most popular comedy double act of the 1980s. Like Eric and Ernie, their performances were pitched perfectly for weekend TV audiences looking for family entertainment.


The Independent 

Cannon leads tributes to ‘funniest man I know’ Bobby Ball

Tommy Cannon said he was “devastated” following the death of his comedy partner Bobby Ball at the age of 76.

The comedian, actor and author had been in hospital with breathing problems and had tested positive for Covid-19. He died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday night.


Daily Mail

Talent that took him from tractor welder to £200,000 a month

Although not known for cracking jokes in public, Her Majesty the Queen could not resist a light-hearted exchange with the comedy duo Cannon and Ball after the Royal Variety Performance of 1987.

The previous week they had been introduced to the Duke of Edinburgh at a charity dinner.

‘We were told to address him as “Your Majesty” when we were introduced,’ recalled Bobby Ball. ‘But I said, “Ow are you cocker? All right?”’

‘When we were lined up to shake hands with the Queen after the command performance, she came to me and said “Hello cocker, how are you?” It was great.’

The royals were among the many fans of a comedy partnership which ended with the news of Bobby Ball’s death in a Blackpool hospital at the age of 76. 


Daily Mirror

Rock on, my friend 

WITH a twang of his trademark red braces and his “Rock on, Tommy” catchphrase, Bobby Ball became a king of comedy, but never forgot his northern roots, once greeting Prince Philip with: “Ow are you, cocker?”

And last night, after Bobby’s death, aged 76, Tommy Cannon, his comedy partner for 57 years, paid tribute to his sidekick, saying: “He was such a great lad to work with – I had more fun than the audience, to be honest with you.”

Tributes poured, with I’m A Celebrity presenter Declan Donnelly hailing Bobby as “one of our favourite ever camp mates”. Lee Mack, who starred with Bobby in Not Going Out, said he was “utterly shocked and devastated to lose my mate Bobby”.


Daily Star

I’ve lost my partner, my best friend… the funniest man I know

Tributes flooded in last night for “joyful” comic and I’m A Celebrity star Bobby Ball, who has died aged 76.

The funnyman – one half of double act Cannon & Ball – died in Blackpool after testing positive for coronavirus.

His comedy partner Tommy Cannon led celebrity tributes, saying: “I’m absolutely devastated, I’ve lost my partner, my best friend and the funniest man I know. Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this.”

And wife Yvonne said: “I will always miss him. He was so joyful, full of fun and mischievous.”

On song to the last

One of Bobby Ball’s final appearances saw him join hospital staff to deliver a message of hope in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

He teamed up with employees from his local NHS Trust in March for a video singalong of the Cannon & Ball theme song, Together We’ll Be OK, to boost the morale of heroes.

Bobby said at the time: “I was asked if I could get involved with the video by singing the song from staff at Blackpool hospitals who we have helped before.

True great of comedy

What tragic news that Bobby Ball has died.

The comedy legend has been taken far too soon after testing positive for Covid-19.

It’s another dreadful reminder this blasted virus can get anyone.

And that we should all use our loaf to protect lives by keeping our distance, wearing a mask when appropriate and generally not being morons.

Bobby’s double act with Tommy Cannon kept us entertained for decades.

The Sun

How Bobby had a Ball being famous

STANDING 5ft 3in tall, with red braces and curly hair, Bobby Ball was one of the biggest stars of the Eighties.

For almost a decade the comedian — who died from Covid-19 aged 76 on Wednesday night — was a Saturday night prime-time favourite with double act partner Tommy Cannon.

Their ITV Cannon and Ball Show pulled in 20million viewers at its peak – and in 1985 their summer season theatre performances out-sold Bruce Springsteen’s British tour.


Daily Telegraph

Comedian Bobby Ball dies after Covid-19 diagnosis

Cannon and Ball star Bobby Ball has died after testing positive for Covid-19, with his comedy partner saying he had lost “the funniest man I know”

His manager confirmed that the 76-year-old comedian, who starred in Last of the Summer Wine, Benidorm and Heartbeat died on Wednesday evening at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The performer was one half of the double act Cannon and Ball with his friend Tommy Cannon, who said: “Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this, I’m devastated. I’ve lost my partner, my best friend and the funniest man I know.”

Ball’s wife Yvonne said: “I will always miss him, he was so joyful, full of fun and mischievous.” The Oldham-born comedian was initially thought to have been suffering from a chest infection, but later tested positive for coronavirus.


Comedian who with his partner Tommy Cannon became a firm favourite of British audiences

Bobby Ball, who has died of Covid-19 aged 76, was the braces-twanging, permed and moustachioed half of the long-running double act Cannon and Ball, who at the height of their success in the 1980s commanded television audiences of 18 million.

Like most comic duos, their routine turned less on the quality of the jokes than on the nature of their relationship. The older Tommy Cannon, who exuded saloon-bar smoothness, was the straight man, while the chirpy Ball, who stood 5ft 4in, had a chippier edge.

If the sophistication of the family entertainment purveyed was closer to that of their contemporaries Little and Large than to the wit of Morecambe and Wise, their warm camaraderie was evident and lasted for almost 60 years. It had been forged during a decade of relentless touring of Northern working men’s clubs, although as it happened these were beginning to be decimated by the attractions of discos when the pair got their big break.