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Tommy Cannon

‘I enjoyed that Cocker!’ The first time I met Bobby Ball 150 150 mhamer

‘I enjoyed that Cocker!’ The first time I met Bobby Ball

Jimmy Cricket's Lancashire Post column about the late 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.”

Bobby Ball: An original, funny man – we all loved him 150 150 mhamer

Bobby Ball: An original, funny man – we all loved him

Shocked and saddened to hear about my friend Bobby Ball, an original funny man, he made us laugh and cry, we all loved him. With his partner Tommy, Cannon and Ball were one of the finest Comedy Double Acts to grace our stages! Our thoughts & prayers are with Yvonne and his family!

Jimmy Cricket said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear fellow comedian and friend Bobby Ball had died.

Bobby, one half of the famous comedy double act Cannon and Ball, passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday aged 76.

The actor and comedian had tested positive for Covid-19.

His long-time friend and colleague Tommy Cannon led the tributes to Bobby, saying: “Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this, I’m devastated.”

Bobby also starred in several popular sitcoms.

They included Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm.

Jimmy said Bobby – pictured right on the photo above – was “an original funny man”.

He added: “He made us laugh and cry, we all loved him.

“With his partner Tommy, Cannon and Ball were one of the finest Comedy Double Acts to grace our stages!

“Our thoughts & prayers are with Yvonne and his family.”

Bobby was born in Oldham on 28 January 1944.

He met Tommy while working in a factory as a welder.

Cannon and Ball – their real names are Thomas Derbyshire and Robert Harper – began their entertainment careers as comedians on the cabaret circuit in the north of England.

Bobby was famous for twanging his braces on stage and saying: “Rock on, Tommy!”

The other famous entertainers on the photo above – including Jimmy of course – are the Krankies, Frank Carson and Paul Daniels.

Also read: Jimmy inspired to write show after seeing success of fellow comedian Bobby Ball’s first steps into writing for the stage

 

The Big Issue’s summer special features celebs 150 150 mhamer

The Big Issue’s summer special features celebs

Jimmy Cricket features in the summertime special of The Big Issue

Jimmy Cricket is among a host of famous entertainers – described as “old-school greats” – to feature in the summertime edition of The Big Issue.

Others include Cannon and Ball, the Chuckle Brothers, Sue Pollard from Hi-de-Hi!, Bernie Clifton and Joe Pasquale.

The Big Issue is a street newspaper founded by John Bird and Gordon Roddick in September 1991 and published on four continents. It is written by professional journalists and sold by individuals.

Its charitable foundation helps enable people who are homeless take control of their lives and earn a legitimate income.

Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue, posted on Twitter: “Very excited by our Summer Special, featuring old school greats including , Bernie Clifton, Chuckle Brothers & Sooty. What are you waiting for?

Mr McNamee is the first editor to manage The Big Issue across all national and regional editions as well as online.

A regular media commentator, he has been named Editor of the Year three times by PPA Scotland, and was named British Editor of The Year in 2013 and 2016 by the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors).