‘I enjoyed that Cocker!’ The first time I met Bobby Ball
Jimmy Cricket remembers the late, great Bobby Ball in his newspaper column for November.
Bobby, one half of the famous comedy double act Cannon and Ball, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in October aged 76.
The Oldham-born actor and comedian had tested positive for Covid-19.
Bobby had also starred in several popular sitcoms.
They included Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm.
In his latest column in the Lancashire Post, Jimmy recalls his first meeting with Bobby and Tommy.
He says: “I first met Bobby Ball at the Candlelight Club in Oldham.
“I had just come off stage and my friend, the singer Jonathan Young, told me that he and his partner Tommy were standing at the bar.
“And they seemed to be enjoying my act.
“Although at that time they had not broken into television, they were a very popular act in the clubs around the country.
‘Brothers in showbusiness’
“I was keen to meet up with them, so I changed quickly and headed for the bar.
“Tommy at the time was engrossed in a conversation with someone, but Bobby Ball shook my hand warmly.
“He said to me: ‘I enjoyed that Cocker, they were a tough crowd, but you got them in the end.
“‘I loved the visual stuff that you did.'”
Jimmy also recalled: “When I found out later Bobby was a neighbour of mine in Rochdale, I rang to tell him that I had written a sketch for him and Tommy in which they played two First Aid Men.
“He invited me to his home where I met his lovely wife Yvonne.
“During our conversation he told me something that really resonated with me.
“He said to me: ‘Jimmy as you develop your on-stage character you’ll die less and less.’
”It was an incredibly insightful thing to say and I treasured the fact that he’d passed his keen knowledge of comedy on to a fellow pro.”
Jimmy finishes his column by saying: “A few months ago before it was offered funding, I tweeted about the Grand Theatre in Blackpool’s future being in doubt.
“Bobby retweeted the message.
“We were brothers in showbusiness trying to save a beautiful theatre for future generations.
“He will be sadly missed by all his friends in the entertainment industry as well as his many fans.”