Stage – Rock On!

Rock On the variety show flyer
Variety show at Blackpool Opera House, 12th November 2021
Featured Tommy Cannon alongside a star-studded cast, in aid of the Bobby Ball foundation. 






We would firstly like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to Bob’s fans, friends, all the cast, the crew and everyone at the Bobby Ball Foundation, in particular Peter Taylor, the instigator. Without you wonderful people this very special weekend would not be happening and we are so overwhelmed with all the kindness and support.

We sincerely hope that each, and every one of you enjoy the events and have a wonderful time, that’s simply what Bob would have wished for.

Bob would have been extremely humbled and proud, and would want to be up on the stage each night being part of this incredible weekend. However, I know he will be here in spirit in the hearts of you all.

Please all stay safe and well and have a wonderful time!

Thank you,

Lots of love, Yvonne, Joanne, Rob, Darren and family xxx


Welcome to the inaugural events staged by The Bobby Ball Foundation. Since Bobby’s passing in 2021, we’ve been desperate to stage an event in his name and this weekend presents the first opportunity we’ve been able to do so. The Bobby Ball Foundation is a registered charity, put together by members of Bobby’s family and friends to honour his memory and continue the charitable endeavours in his name. The first events are also a chance for family, friends and fans of Bobby to celebrate his life in the way he knew best… showbusiness!

The money raised from the ‘Rock On’ and ‘Bobby Ball’ events will be split across the Bobby Ball Statue Fund, along with Bobby’s patronage charities Blue Skies Hospital Fund and Lowther Pavilion. The Foundation will continue the charitable endeavours well into the future, so we do hope you will help support our future events. In the meantime, we thank you sincerely for being part of this historic occasion, having sold out both events in a matter of hours, a true testament to the love and support for Bobby.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the offers of support from across the showbusiness community to be involved, but sadly we’ve only got the theatre for one night… I’m sure we could have been playing for a week. It can’t be mistaken that Cannon & Ball have a long history with our venue. They were the first act ever to gross over £1 million at the Opera House Box Office for their 1985 Summer Season. Tonight as we celebrate Bobby’s life through entertainment… we know Bobby’s spirit is all around us, guiding us through with a cheeky smile and infectious personality.

Thank you Bobby.

Peter Taylor

Chairman – The Bobby Ball Foundation


Tommy Cannon

Bobby and I met by accident. We worked together as welders – and of 500-odd men on the shop floor, he was the first person who spoke to me. He walked past, said ‘Alright cock’, and I thought ‘what a funny little fella’.

After a while, Bobby invited me to his singing gig at a local club, and a few of us went. I joked after his set ‘I can’t believe they’re paying you for that rubbish’. From then, we became real friends, joking around – he welded my boot to a frame once, that was typical Bob.

Then, he asked if I wanted to do a double act. Like most lads, I wanted to play football or cricket for England; I never dreamed I would be in showbiz.

I couldn’t sing, so he told me to get some drums and I did. We had a few different names, moved from singing to comedy – and we became Cannon and Ball, just before we did Opportunity Knocks in 1969. The rest is history. We just became such really good pals. When Bobby passed away, I couldn’t even go and see him – that was awful, to not be able to hold his hand and say the things I wanted to say. It was all so quick, just a few days and he was gone. It was heart-breaking to be honest.

At Bobby’s funeral, I remember breaking down, realising we would never see him again. And I’ve had a few tears in the 12 months since then, thinking about things we’ve done together. But, we had done everything, we’d been everywhere and virtually conquered the world.

Bobby’s death has left a massive hole in my life. But I know what he’d be saying, looking down now: ‘‘Tommy, don’t be soft.’’

Being here tonight, it is without doubt a celebration of Bobby. And what a line-up we have here of people we worked with, people who inspired us and people who have been inspired by Bobby.

Of course I’d like him by my side tonight. It’s quite nerve-racking to be here, in Blackpool, at the Opera House, without him. I’ve not been able to plan what I’m going to say, I’m not sure there will be any jokes – I’m sorry, but it will be from the heart.

To sum up Bobby? He was a barrel of laughs. He’d do anything for anybody, he’d never let anyone down. We’d been together for 57, nearly 58 years, and sometimes we’d get to the stage of saying ‘Shall we retire?’, but Bobby would never have retired.

Bobby was Mr Showbiz.

I love him to bits, and I’ll miss him forever.


Russell Watson

Russell Watson never imagined he would someday be hailed as one of the world’s greatest classical singers. Since being described by the New York Times as a performer “who sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Sinatra” he subsequently released 10 studio albums, each one receiving more critical acclaim than the last. His debut album ‘The Voice’ shot up the UK charts where he held the number one spot for a world record 52 weeks. At the same time, Russell held the number one spot in the USA, making him the first British male to hold the accolade of a simultaneous transatlantic number one.

His second studio album ‘Encore’ followed, it became an even greater success selling almost two million copies worldwide. During this period Russell was rewarded with various awards including four Classical Brits.

In a career that has spanned more than 20 years Russell has performed for many notable figures including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the late Pope John Paul II who requested a private audience with Russell at the Vatican, former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, the Emperor of Japan, various European Prime Ministers, the King of Malaysia and Middle Eastern Sultans.

As well as high profile stage performances including Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds tour and the lead role of Karl Oscar in Benny and Bjorn’s (ABBA) Kristina, Russell’s other appearances include the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games in 2002, at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Coronation Gala Festival 2013, the opening ceremony of the World Games, the Rugby Union World Cup and at the Nou Camp Stadium for the 1999 Champion’s League Final with Montserrat Caballe.

He has also collaborated with Meatloaf, Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney, Lulu, Alexandra Burke, Sean Ryder and the late great Luciano Pavarotti.

I remember as a child my parents would religiously tune into the Cannon and Ball show, I was a fan from that moment on. Tommy’s dry humour and Bobby’s infectious and cheeky character were wonderful to watch. Of course, that all time classic phrase ‘Rock On Tommy’ still resonates when I think of these two giants of the TV and comedy world. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby on a few occasions. He never disappointed as was just as funny off stage as he was on it. A genuinely lovely and very funny man. He always had that mischievous glint in his eyes whatever the occasion. A great man. 


Sheridan Smith OBE

Sheridan made her TV debut in 1999, where she played ‘Matilda’ in ITV’s comedy series Dark Ages. Shortly after she was cast as ‘Emma’ in the sitcom The Royle Family. She moved on to star as ‘Janet Smith’ in the long running cult series ‘Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps’ where she became a household name.

Sheridan has made her mark as one of Britain’s most versatile actors, from such memorable roles as Mrs Biggs (the wife of the notorious convict Ronnie Biggs) a roll she was named Best Actress at the 2013 BAFTA TV Awards and nominated for an International EMMY for. The C Word, in which she played her late friend Lisa Lynch. She won the National TV Award for her portrayal of Cilla Black in ITV’s drama Cilla and was nominated for her second BAFTA and International EMMY. Other work includes Moorside, a TV drama. ‘Care’ for the BBC and ITV Drama ‘Cleaning Up’ aired in 2019.

Her television credits include Gavin and Stacey, Love Soup, Grownups, ITV1’s Benidorm, BBC 1’s Jonathan Creek, The Scapegoat, Dates, The 7:39, Inside Number 9 and ITV’s Black Work.

In 2020 Sheridan played Mel in a lockdown first drama series ‘Isolation Stories’ receiving critical acclaim. In 2021 she starred in Jeff Pope’s new BBC One Drama, ‘Four Lives’ and a brand new drama with RED Productions for ITV, ‘No Return’ from BAFTA-winning screenwriter, Danny Brocklehurst.

Sheridan presented a musical extravaganza from the London Palladium, ‘Musicals: The Greatest Show’. The show received over 5 million viewers.

In 2021 Sheridan presented BBC’s ‘Pooch Perfect’.

Prominence on the big screen came in 2012 as ‘Molly the Lolly’ in ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Tower Block’, Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Quartet’ and Universal’s ‘The Huntsman’ and ‘Winter’s War’.

I used to watch Bobby in the Cannon and Ball show growing up as me and my dad were h fans. His timing, humour and warmth made the shows unmissable. What a pleasure it was to meet Bobby in person a few years ago when we were both receiving a Variety Award. Of course, Bobby turned the evening into a comedy routine and had me in stitches.

He will be missed by everyone that came into contact with him, a total star. I am honoured and privileged to be supporting the events in his memory.


Jason Manford

Jason hails from Salford. He is a stand-up comedian, writer, actor, singer, radio and television presenter. He began his career in 1999, while working at the Buzz Comedy Club in Chorlton, Manchester. Jason was collecting glasses when a performer didn’t arrive for an evening set. Jason, who was 17, stepped in to fill the gap.
As a stand-up he regularly packs out theatres and Arenas up and down the country. Playing to more than 450,000 fans on his last tour – Muddles Class. His album, A Different Stage reached number 10 in the UK charts.

Theatre includes: Sweeney Todd, (Adelphi Theatre), The Producers (UK Tour), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour), Guys & Dolls (Royal Albert Hall), Curtains (UK Tour and West End).

TV: (Acting) Scarborough, Ordinary Lies, Shameless, Ripper Street, Daisy & Ollie.

TV: (Himself) hosting Unbeatable, Live at the Apollo, Royal Variety Performance 2021, Sunday Night at the Palladium, What Would Your Kid Do?, Bigheads, QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats, First & Last.

It feels like a real privilege to have been asked to do this show in honour of Bobby. I’ve been a fan of his my whole life, so I am very much looking forward to being on stage in his beloved Blackpool making people laugh in his memory, Rock on!



Collabro are Jamie Lambert, Matt Pagan, Michael Auger and Thomas Redgrave. Having won ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent series 8 with one of the highest majorities ever, Collabro have gone on to record six studio albums, selling more than a million copies worldwide. They have also embarked on five major U.K. tours, headlining the Royal Albert Hall twice and the London Palladium three times, as well as multiple tours in the USA and Asia.

In a poll by ITV, Collabro have been voted the most popular winners of Britain’s Got Talent ever, and their record cements them as the world’s most successful musical theatre vocal group.

I used to watch Cannon and Ball all of the time, specifically the snooker sketch with Steve Davis and the wall sketch with Iris Williams. Matt Pagan

Sherrie Hewson

Sherrie Hewson known for Loose Women, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and of course Benidorm.

Within a very long career Sherrie has worked in many sitcoms and sketch shows with the great comics of the day and none better than the wonderful Bobby Ball.

My relationship with Bobby was so wonderful, we were very rude to each other in the best possible taste and believed we would work together again and indeed a sitcom was already written for us.

I miss him every day and often have a quiet word with him. I can’t tell you my pet name for him but he will be laughing saying ‘Go on cock tell em.’

Love you Bobs x


Steve Royle

Britain’s Got Talent 2020 top three finalist, comedian, juggler and variety star. Steve’s comedy skills have taken him all over the world performing on cruises ships, in hotels and comedy clubs throughout the UK, in Hong Kong, Dubai, Crete, Cyprus, Turkey and Japan.

In 2015 he performed 16 nights at The Manchester Arena as part of the “Phoenix Nights Live” show, helping raise more than £5 million for Comic Relief. He has also performed twice at the London Palladium.

Steve is a “Gillard Award” winning presenter on BBC Radio Lancashire and a veteran of 24 pantomimes. In 2019 he starred in the world premier tour of “Naturally Insane: The Life of Dan Leno” and performed the play in the West End (Criterion Theatre) November 2021.

Steve has several television appearances to his credit including Phoenix Nights, Max And Paddy’s Road To Nowhere and Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got The Pop Factor.

Growing up in Oldham Bobby had legendary status in our family and I even had a “Rock On Tommy” money box. I first met Bobby on a train to London when i was an 18 year old student. He spent the whole journey standing next to the buffet car service hatch issuing condiments to customers. “Sugar with that? Here ya go love! Rock on!” He had a gag and a smile for everyone. It was before the age of “selfies” but thankfully that scene is etched into my memory forever!

Miss you Bobby, thanks for the laughs.


Sally Lindsay

Sally Lindsay got her first break in the ground breaking sit-com The Royle Family. She then went on to work on shows including Phoenix Nights and Fat Friends before becoming one of Britain’s best-loved barmaids Shelley Unwin in Coronation Street.

Her other TV credits include Mount Pleasant, Ordinary Lies, Murdered For Being Different, Moving On, Still Open All Hours, Cold Call and Dial M For Middlesbrough. Sally also created and starred in Scott and Bailey and was the voice of Piella in the Oscar nominated A Matter Of Loaf And Death.

Theatre credits include A Taste of Honey at the Royal Exchange and Everybody Loves A Winner.

Most recently Sally has joined forces with Caroline Roberts-Cherry to form Saffron Cherry Productions. They are currently filming The World According to Grandpa where Sally voices the genius rabbit Halifax. And her new show The Madame Blanc Mysteries, which she created, co-wrote and co-produced, is currently showing on primetime Saturday night on Channel 5.

It is simply not fair that Bobby is not in our world anymore. Since the moment I met him and he became my TV Dad in 2010 I was totally in love with him.

We got on together so well and constantly made each other laugh, and him and Vonny became just like family. As the years went by we saw him grow as an actor, in fact I can say he was one of the finest actors I have ever worked with. But it wasn’t just about the work, he was a kind, sensitive darling of a man who spread his light to everyone he met. People buzzed around Bob like bees round a honey pot, just wanting a bit of his sunshine to make their day better. I miss him every day and think of him all the time. On the set of Mount Pleasant he could not have been more loved and admired and I am honoured and proud to have called him one of my best friends. Rest in Peace darling Bob, until we laugh together again xxx


The Harper Brothers

Being in show business was surely the only outcome for Rob & Darren. From being stood in the wings watching their Dad (Bobby Ball) & Tommy work an audience right up-to sharing the stage with Cannon & Ball in Blackpool in what would be Bobby’s final stage appearance.

The lads worked on their own careers until more than 20 years ago they decided to gig together as a one off at a charity event, the boys haven’t looked back since. From cruise ships to holiday parks through to comedy clubs, the lads appeal to a broad section of people. With being brothers you can see the way they bounce off each other and, as well as make the audience laugh, they make each other laugh!

The Stage newspaper said there was nothing quite like them in the UK comedy market and that the boys were “infectiously funny and deserving of that elusive big break in the TV market.”

The lads have been lucky enough to work at some of the country’s most famous theatres and have worked with the likes of Joe Longthorne, Peter Kay, Freddie Starr, Johnnie Casson, Stu Francis, Tony Christie and many more. It was an absolute pleasure for the lads to be asked by their very good friend Ted Robbins to appear on BBCIs CBBCs The Slammer where they played the characters Mumble & Son. It was such a good episode that it was nominated for The Royal Television Society Awards in 2014. The boys then went on to appear another three times on The Slammer and they loved every minute. Another of the lads’ favourites is Panto… From The Brokers Men, Ugly Sisters, Smee & Starkey through to the policemen from Aladdin, the lads have enjoyed 13 years treading the boards all over the UK at Christmas and have found their second home at The Billingham Forum where they have appeared for six years! 2018 saw the lads don the frocks and play the Ugly Sisters which saw them nominated at the UK Panto awards for the Best Uglies in Britain! Although work for every entertainer stopped during lockdown Rob and Darren where asked by CBBC to record an episode for the famous children’s show Crackerjack where they really enjoyed playing a useless magician and an even more silly caretaker! Just look it up on YouTube.

With lockdown ending the boys are now back doing what they love the most, performing live. With cruises lined up and working at some brilliant venues such as the Warner Hotels, Haven, Park Dean Resorts, flybacks & Pontins, it’s fair to say the lads will once again be jam packed with work in 2022.

Rob and Darren are so honoured that you’ve turned up to what will be an absolutely brilliant occasion. The amount of talent that will be on the stage during the show just blows them away.

Thank you so much for coming, taking part and celebrating our dad’s life, it will be very emotional for us as a family but we hope that we can look back at the wonderful legacy he’s left behind.

Our dad would love a night like this, we can imagine him and Tommy working out on the stage and Dad looking into the wings and shouting to us “These are proper laughs lads.”

We hope he’s looking down with a large glass of Chardonnay, licking his moustache and enjoying this amazing event… Rock On Dad xx


Ted Robbins

Ted comes from a Showbiz family – including sister Kate who appeared in Bobby’s brilliant stage show The Dressing Room. Perhaps best known as the evil arsonist Den Perry in Phoenix Nights and The Guv’nor in the CBBC BAFTA award winning tv series The Slammer, Ted has appeared in many different TV dramas and shows including six happy seasons in Mount Pleasant as Bobby’s screen brother Uncle Terry!

As for working with Bobby, he was constantly ‘winding’ me up! With Bobby once getting the director and crew to convince me that I was constantly looking directly down the camera lens – a real “no no” in filmed Drama!!

We all loved him & he was a truly brilliant actor, combining humour and moving emotion in a truly Chaplin-esque way!

Sue Vincent

Sue is currently starring in the smash hit series The Madame Blanc Mysteries on Channel 5 and Acorn TV which she co-wrote with the sensational Sally Lindsay.

Other television credits include Alma’s Not Normal for BBC2, Bad Move for ITV1 and Shameless for Channel 4. Sue was also a contributor to the top selling book, ‘I Am Distracted By Everything’ by the brilliant Liza Tarbuck.

She played Bobby’s sister-in-law, Margaret, in Mount Pleasant.

One day, I walked on set in a wedding guest outfit for Margaret. Bob looked me up and down admiringly and then said: ‘bloody hell, you look like a hanging basket’.”


Steve Norman

Steve Norman is saxophonist, guitarist, percussionist, songwriter and founding member of the world-famous multi-platinum award-winning band SPANDAU BALLET.

He is also a songwriter and singer with his own band The Sleevz.

SPANDAU BALLET had 23 hit singles and songs like “Motivator” (Spandau Ballet), “Once More” (Spandau Ballet), “We Are King” (Holy Holy), numerous solo tracks and the legendary saxophone solo of the Spandau Ballet classic “True” were written by Steve.

In 1990, after the members of Spandau Ballet went their separate ways, Steve moved to Ibiza and discovered his love for club & dance music working with numerous musicians, producers and DJ’s.

He has also played saxophone, guitar, percussion, and sang for and with Iggy Pop, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Glen Gregory (Heaven 17), Marc Almond, Glen Matlock, Clem Burke, Kim & Marty Wilde, Belinda Carlisle, Nick Heyward, Marc JB (Bimbo Jones), Jeremy Healey and many more.

His love and passion for David Bowie’s music got him involved in a band project called Holy Holy featuring “Spiders from Mars” Woody Woodmansey and Tony Visconti alongside members of Mick Ronson’s family. Steve also played and toured with further Bowie musicians such as Earl Slick, Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey and Mike Garson.

Bobby Ball was one of the funniest and smartest human beings I ever met. He had me in stitches on the stage and in the dressing room.

Our mutual love for music brought us together. We got on like a house on fire and planned to meet up in Lytham.

I will be chasing him for that pint!


Cheryl Fergison

Cheryl is widely known for her role as Heather Trott in the BBC Soap Eastenders.

Over the years, she has played many different roles with credits including Dr Who, Big School alongside David Walliams and Catherine Tate, Allo Allo and many others. Cheryl has also performed in various stage shows & musicals including Chicago, The Blue Angel, and Menopause the Musical 1 & 2.

Upcoming projects include “After ever After: Hansel and Gretel” to be shown this Christmas on Sky, a new Netflix series and a BBC Children’s Period Drama: Dodger, all to be aired in the new year.

Cannon & Ball played an important part of my childhood and watching these two comedy geniuses growing up, meant laughter in our house and a very valued friendship with Bobby & Yvonne later in life.

Bobby used to light up a room and made everyone feel as though they were his friend even if it was the first time they had met him.

He was a fantastic singer, actor and performer all round and I spent many a memorable time in his and Yvonne’s company…

Saying that he is missed is an understatement as there are no words to express when you have lost such a great talent… he really did have the funny bones.


Phil Walker

An award winning comedian with a keen eye for the absurdities of life, Phil’s act has taken him all over the globe, from a scout hut in the Shetlands to a cabin on Mount Alice in the Falklands, basically he will go anywhere for a laugh!

When I first met Bobby, he had recently moved to St Annes where I lived. That year I had been asked to do my 1st Pantomime, I bumped into Bobby one day and asked for his advice. Bobby immediately invited me to his house where he gave me a comedy panto masterclass for a whole afternoon! A totally priceless memory I will cherish forever of a man I was lucky enough to call a friend.

Johnnie Casson

Johnnie started his career as a drummer in a band called The Cresters. They supported The Beatles on their first tour of Scotland, and worked many major cabaret venues. They backed Tammy Wynette on several TV specials, appearing regularly on TV shows such as Cliff Richard & Friends and were selected for a long residency on Granada TV.

While on the cabaret circuit he not only drummed, but started performing comedy. The comedy gradually became more popular than the music with him winning a major talent contest at the London Palladium. Following this, and a winning slot on Bob Says Opportunity Knocks!, he decided it was time to break from The Cresters and became a solo stand-up comedian.

The Cresters worked with Cannon & Ball in the 60’s & 70’s, before they did comedy yet they were really likable.

In my opinion Bobby Ball was the greatest comic character since World War II. He was allowed to develop his character because of Tommy, a great straight man and essential for Bobby’s character development. A pleasure to have known and worked with Bobby. I’ve had a great career, but doing Bobby’s play ‘The Dressing Room’ was a highlight.


Graham Liver

Graham has hosted Lancashire’s biggest breakfast show on BBC Radio Lancashire for more than a decade. He can also be seen reading the news and reporting for BBC North West Tonight.

Graham is a patron of a number of local Lancashire charities and has helped to raise more than £500,000 for BBC Children in Need.

Bobby was always so lovely to talk to on the radio. So warm, funny and friendly. He loved people and his appearances on my show during the first lockdown brought so much comfort to many.

I still play Together we’ll be OK on my show every Friday.

Peter Anthony

Peter Anthony has been performing professionally since 1985, starting on the tough northern club circuits. In 1997, Peter made the move to the Fylde coast where he secured residencies at some of the well known hotels in the area.

Peter has performed at the Blackpool Opera House numerous times, along with the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, the North Pier Theatre and of course summer seasons with Cannon & Ball at the Grand Theatre

I got to know Bobby via contact through various shows and also living close by. My husband, Paul, also played parts in Bobby’s plays. We became great friends, professionally and socially, and he was always first to help. When myself and Paul took on the huge task of transforming the historic grade 1 listed Lytham Hall six years ago, Bobby was instrumental in helping us raise funds and also raising the profile of this magnificent place. I walk by and say hello to him every day where he is scattered in his special rose bed adjacent to the Hall. Bobby and Tommy will always be national treasures. Their legacy of comedy and comic genius is something they can always be very proud of. After all, there is no greater gift than bringing laughter and happiness.


Mark Jay

Over the past 35 years I have been entertaining audiences all over UK and abroad.

I have always been known for my versatility when it comes to the genres of music I like to cover. Everything from swing, jazz, Soul to rock and pop. I would class myself as a true entertainer who specialises in providing bespoke performances, hoping I can leave my audience wanting more.

Bob was more than just an amazing friend to me. I had the privilege to call Bob my best mate for the last 7 years he was with us. To me he was my mentor, my big brother and yet when I needed it, he was my father figure too. I may have lost my best pal on the 28th October 2020, but I will never lose the memories of an amazing person who I loved dearly. To the world he was ‘Bobby Ball’ the legend, the comedy genius and icon, to me he was Bob, my best mate.


D3VA are a power house vocal harmony trio residing in Blackpool. Diane hails originally from Scotland, Carol, the North West and Tracey from the Midlands. All three ladies are accomplished solo singers performing in television, radio, theatre and cruise ships over the years. Supporting many stars including Joe Longthorne, Cannon and Ball, Ken Dodd and Micheal Barrymore to name but a few!

The girls have been the best of friends many years performing in Blackpool but realised the one thing they had never done was sing together and so D3VA was born.

When the ‘Ball’ of energy that is Bobby, having known the girls many years, heard D3VA he began to support them and guide them as he did so many new artistes.

He meant so much to so many and we girls are honoured to perform tonight in memory of Bobby, sorely missed.


Paul McCormick

As a singer Paul has travelled the globe fronting various bands in the likes of ‘Barbados’, USA and Europe. In the UK he has played support to, sang and toured with numerous artists such as Peter Green (founder member of Fleetwood Mac)

& his Splinter Group which included Cozy Powell on drums and Neil Murray (formerly Whitesnake) on bass. Other artists Paul has played support to and/or sang with includes Rickie-Lee-Jones Eddi Reader, (Fairground Attraction) Glen Tilbrook (Squeeze) Horse and more recently Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel), Mike Peters (The Alarm) and Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet). Not forgetting of course the wonderful Bobby Ball.

Paul continues to appear at various venues around the Fylde Coast, most regularly with his ‘Sunday Club’ at The Deacon in Lytham.

I got to know Bobby back in 2011 whilst singing in the now gone ‘Mojito’s’ in Lytham. it was always a joy and a pleasure to invite him up regularly to sing where he inevitably brought the house down with his renditions of classic ‘Rock n’ Roll’ songs in his own inimitable style.

We very quickly became good pals and over the years in a way, he became somewhat of a mentor to me in his generosity of sharing his experience of ‘The Business’ with me. I remember the parties, the dinners, the events, the laughter and songs. To say he was funny is an understatement. He would have you in fits of laughter with just a look. I loved his company. He was kind, generous and caring in so many ways. At my darkest time Bob and his lovely wife Yvonne were there for me and for that I am forever indebted. I’m proud to say he was my pal. I miss him.


Paul Dobie

Paul is a Singer/Songwriter and entertainer who has had the enormous privilege of entertaining worldwide at events for The Monaco Royal Family, The Invictus Games Teams, The Superbowl Final and many others.

As good as that all sounds, all entertainers will tell you about their anxieties and doubts.

For 25 plus years, I was one of a host of entertainers who was encouraged and enthusiastically supported by our wonderful friend Bobby Ball who would put his hand on our shoulder and give us the boost that helped us carry on! Right up to the very end, knowing that a star like him had your back is something I will carry with me forever. It is a privilege beyond words to be a part of this show.

He would get me to sing a song for him that had these words; ‘your cheers and laughter will linger after they’ve torn down these dusty old walls If I had this to do again and this evening was new again I would spend it with you again But now the curtain falls. Love you Bob x

Kelvin J. Wood

Originally from Cumbria, started his singing career in 1999 wowing audiences with his dynamic genre spanning performances.

Kelvin’s talent and experience has seen him perform at a variety of events and sharing the bill with some of the best names in the business including Mick Miller, Jimmy Cricket, Franz Ferdinand and The original Edwin Starr Band .

Losing his cousin suddenly in 2020 coupled with the global Pandemic bringing the ability to perform live to a halt, he turned his hand to song writing, earning him several awards in the British and World song writing awards along with 2 No.1 hits in Georgia, Atlanta and a brand new album Battle Scars .

Bobby was a massive comedy hero of Kelvin’s and after meeting him some years later became both an inspirational figure and friend, prompting Kelvin to run for 31 days in January 2021 and is due to perform a skydive on November 20th 2021 all for Bobby’s statue .

To be invited to be a part of this amazing show is an absolute honour and something Kelvin is very proud of.


Jo Ashcroft

Jo Ashcroft is a very well established musician, vocalist and actress. Her varied career has seen her perform in 14 pantomimes, numerous summer seasons, theatre, pit orchestras, cruise ships, tv and hotels.

She has played sax for Dexys Midnight Runners, supported The Wanted, and performed on bills with legends such as Cannon & Ball, The Grumbleweeds, Joe Longthorne and Billy Pearce.

For the last 4 years she has been playing sax with Wayne Dilks’ George Michael the Legacy Show in an extensive national theatre tour and also frequently headlines for Fred Olsen cruise ships.

Bobby was initially 1 of my comedy idols from the T.V I had the honour of been asked to support Cannon & Ball on their summer show on Blackpool North Pier.

Our friendship grew over the following years often meeting up at parties and performing a song or 2 together. Bobby would often offer me words of wisdom or ideas for my show, which I always listened to with a grateful heart knowing the advice and encouragement was coming from a very loved industry legend, and one that I had the pleasure of calling my mate.

Jane Dean

Jane started her career aged 9 with the London City Ballet, was a dancer at The Moulin Rouge in Paris and performed around the world. After 5 years in Texas USA she returned to the UK in 2017.

Bobby was my friend and advisor; he would hold my hand and say, “Let me tell you something…” This could be followed by advice on my career, how to manage people or a complete mickey-take; you never quite knew which it would be!

I miss you Bob and your great big hugs and feel blessed to have been your friend, the world was a better place with you in it.

Jane xx


Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra

The orchestra was formed by Helen and Richard Fitzgerald in 1996 at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. Initially formed to perform education concerts to thousands of children.

The orchestra soon gained a great reputation and began being invited to perform on high profile tours. They have performed regularly with artists such as Smokey Robinson. Gloria Estefan, Barry Manilow, Chris de Burgh, IL Divo, Gladys Knight, Alfie Boe, Collabro, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Led Zeppelin Masters, David Gates, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Johnny Mathis, Gary Brooker, Sheridan Smith, Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited, Madness, The Cult and many more.

They are also in very high demand in the corporate market and regularly produce shows for high profile corporate events both in the UK and across Europe.

Violin: Mathias Svenson, Caroline Bodimead, Chloe Millar, Pippa Green, Kate Scrivens, Katrina McWillams, Sarah Balfour

Viola: Antonia Finch, Jung Hee Keum, Maria Antunes

Cello: Nick Stringfellow, Mike Nowland, Helen Fitzgerald

Flute/Sax: Chris Harding

Flute/Piccolo: James McDowall

Clarinet/Sax: Rela Spyrou, Claire Shipway

Bassoon: Jo Mayne

French Horns: Jon Harris


Trombones: Beth Calderbank, Jon Pippen


The Band

Music Director: Rick Coates

Keyboard: Duncan Waugh

Keyboard: Ed Rugman

Guitar: Jason Ward

Bass: Simon Goulding

Drums: Mike Smith

It is a great privilege to be invited to perform here this evening in tribute to such an iconic and wonderful entertainer. We all grew up being entertained by Bobby.

It is also amazing to be accompanying such fantastic artists who are on this stage this evening.


NHS NW Ambulance Choir

Our choir was formed in 2015 and is made up of 27 frontline ambulance staff. A couple of us started the choir initially as a bit of a laugh and as somewhere we could let off steam from the stresses and strains of our job. Over the years our choir has grown in members and we are busy all year round performing at the many charity events we support. After working through the pandemic our choir are absolutely thrilled to be performing on the same stage as such amazing performers. Most of all we are honoured to be paying tribute tonight to such a legend as Bobby Ball. There isn’t a member of our choir who hasn’t grown up watching Bobby on our television and some choir members were actually lucky enough to have met the man himself personally.

We especially pay tribute to Bobby as we know what a wonderful supporter of our NHS he was.

NWAS Choir, we don’t claim to be the best singers but we sing with heart!

Rebecca Hunt
Ruth Naylor-Thomas
Amy Dover
Philip Edmondson
Cheryl Harwood
Daniel Jackson
Debs Kehoe Tracey
Erika Corless
Berni Hillier
Helen Houlding
Justin Derbyshire
Keith McKeowen
Yvonne McKeowen
Mandy McFarlane
Maureen Gaskell
Natalie Tayburn
Pam McCabe
Phil Wareing
George Preston
Simon Martindale
Jason Price
Sharon Tonge
Katie Appleby
Laura Oliphant
Jen Davies
Heena Eaglen
Anthony Jenkins



President: Yvonne Ball
Chairman: Peter Taylor
Trustees: John Camilleri, Deni Middleton, Christian O’Sullivan, Joanne O’Sullivan, Kila Redfearn, Deborah Wilkinson

Honorary Accountants: Danbro


Produced & Directed By: Peter Taylor
Assistant Director: Nicky Figgins
Musical Director: Richard Coates
Production Director: Daniel Cuffe
Production Designer: Michael Oates
Acoustic Consultant: Michael Spratt
Musical Fixer: Helen Fitzgerald
Musical Arranger: Edward Rugman
Production Assistants: Joe Robinson,
Production Assistants: Lauren Gallagher
Dancers for the Show: Nicky Figgins, Lara Katlandur, Anastasia Krokidi, Jacey Hough, Vida Kent, Rachel Collins, Sarah Holden, Amy Lant, Lizzie Thorpe, Lisa Betty, Katie Brown & Jade Milner
Talent Advisor, Manager to Cannon & Ball: Phil Dale
Audio: Wigwam
Lighting: Lights Control Rigging
Video: Live Event Production
Rigging: KRS
Trucking: KB Event Ltd
Local Crew: PS Events
Bussing: Phoenix Bussing
Set: Brilliant Stages
With thanks to the volunteers from: The Friends of Lowther
With thanks to the volunteers from: Blue Skies Hospitals Fund

Design & Artwork by: Andrew Redfearn for Mediaprint
Press & PR: Sarah Rhodes for RHODES Media
Website Design: Code Galaxy
Lighting & Projection Supplied By: LCR
Sound Equipment Supplied By: Wigwam Acoustics
Trucking Provided By: KB Event Ltd
On-Site Catering: Michelle Cuffe for Mama Cuffe Catering
Catering Assistants: Bernie Doyle, Jenine Knott, Jacqui Wright & Trish

Thanks to: The Management & Staff of Winter Gardens Blackpool, Fylde Borough, Council, Blackpool Council, Visit Blackpool, Blackpool Gazette, Lytham St Annes Express, BBC Radio Lancashire


The Bobby Ball programmeRock On! was part of a weekend of events that also included The Bobby Ball.