Tommy Cannon has said he is "devastated" following the tragic news of his Cannon and Ball partner and best friend Bobby Ball, who has died aged 76 from Covid-19.
Tributes came flooding in this morning for the late comedian.
Ball was in a long-term double act with comedy partner Tommy Cannon and in later years moved into acting in shows including Last of the Summer Wine, Mount Pleasant, and Not Going Out, where he played Lee Mack's dad, Frank. Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005, and was the sixth person to be voted out.
"I will always miss him, he was so joyful, full of fun and mischievous".
A statement read: "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 the 28th October 2020 approximately 21:30".
Bobby later died at the same Blackpool hospital and his wife has praised staff there for their care.
"At first it was thought to be a chest infection but a test proved positive for Covid-19", he said in a statement.
"She said that the family and Tommy would like to express their honest thanks to the many, many people who have been fans of Bobby".
Bobby Ball died in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19
He added that Ball's wife stressed their need for privacy at this time "has to be a priority" and no further announcements or statements will be made. "The comedy community is a poorer place without him #RockOn#RIPBobbyBall".
It wasn't long before Les Dennis weighed in and shared: "Just heard the sad news that the wonderful Bobby Ball has died".
Les Dennis described him as "a true entertainer with real amusing bones", while comedian Ed Gamble said he was "absolutely pure funny" and "a massive influence". Saw him and Tommy many times, such a amusing man. Apparently he had corona virus.
While singer Robbie Williams wrote: "God bless you Bobby Ball". You were so amusing and lovely. Rest in peace Bob.
While MP for Oldham West and Royton Jim McMahon commented: "Very sorry to hear of the passing of Bobby Ball, Oldham born, he gave so much entertainment throughout his life My thoughts with his family and friends".
Leading the tributes, Cannon said: "Rock on, my good friend, I can't believe this, I'm devastated". They bought matching Rolls-Royces, beachfront homes in the Canary Islands, and cabin cruisers. Together, the two appeared on The Cannon and Ball Show which premiered on ITV in 1979 and continued until 1988.
He said: "I changed their name from the Harper Brothers to Cannon & Ball and persuaded London Weekend TV to take a chance on them".
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