One year on - Tommy Cannon remembers legendary comedy partner Bobby Ball

Tommy Cannon spoke to ITV Granada Reports' entertainment correspondent Caroline Whitmore about his hopes for the future exactly a year since Bobby Ball passed away. 

Cannon & Ball were the ultimate comedy greats.

First meeting back in Oldham when they were both welders, and ending up with their own, primetime Saturday night programme.

The Cannon & Ball show pulled in around 20 million viewers for more than 12 years.

This day, 12 months ago, came the news that Bobby Ball had died of coronavirus complications at the age of 76 at Blackpool Victoria hospital. 

Now, Bobby's comedy partner Tommy Cannon, 83, who worked with him for almost 60 years, has been remembering his comedy partner.

Credit: PA

"I just can’t believe he’s not here - it’s not been easy", said Tommy

"I just couldn’t cope with it - my head wasn’t in the right place. I suddenly started thinking about Bob every time I woke up, when I went to bed - I’ve kept thinking about Bob and how he'd gone. 

"It’s been 12 months since he passed away - but he passed away so quick - I couldn’t go and visit him because of Covid. I couldn’t put my arm around his shoulder.

"It just ripped me apart. I didn’t break down and cry until I was In the church and all of a sudden this awful feeling came over me that I’m not going to see him any more and I just broke down."

Bobby Ball passed away from Covid complications in 2020. Credit: ITV News

Reminiscing about his most memorable moments with Bobby, he described how they came up with their well-known catches-phrases.

He said: "There was one particular night when Bobby came on stage and went ‘Rock on Tommy’ - and I’ve never heard that before because nobody writes a catchphrase.

"I thought 'where the 'eck has that come from?' David Essex did a song called ‘Rock On’ and it just came to him. That’s how that catchphrase were born."

Tommy is hoping to get back on stage next year, telling the life story of Cannon & Ball. He said: "It’s so funny i think people will want to hear it."

"He is not here today but he’s up there and I know what he’s doing.

"He’s looking down and he is laughing his head off at me saying ‘look at him on his own he won’t do this. Get on with it.'

Credit: PA

A show in Blackpool - Rock on The Variety - on the 12 November at the Opera House will help to raise money for a statue of Bobby, and to remind people how funny he was. 

"Bob was so funny even when he wasn't on stage. He was magical. He still is a legend.

"He’ll be up there with all the top boys giving them hell! It was just a joy to work with him he was so funny. " 

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