Bobby Ball’s sons pay moving tribute to ‘legend’ father

The sons of Bobby Ball paid tribute to their father saying “we can never fill his shoes”.

The Cannon & Ball comedian died in hospital on October 28 after testing positive for Covid-19.

They said they have been “overwhelmed” by the tributes to their father since his death.

Rob Harper, who is part of the double act The Harper Brothers with his brother Darren, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “You never expect one of your family to get it and then it’s shell-shock really.



(Image: ITV)

“I was FaceTiming him every day, three times a day while he was in hospital, before he took a decline, he was laughing and joking with the nurses, he was his usual self, getting the nurses and saying ‘Have you met your new mother?’ and that is what he was doing.

“And then unfortunately he declined, he went in the wrong direction.”

He continued: “Three weeks ago we did our last gig with Cannon & Ball at a place in Blackpool called Viva and he was up to his old tricks again.

“We are in a double act and we went on stage hoping to get a laugh and then Cannon & Ball went after, got the bigger laughs, turned around to us backstage and said ‘That’s how you get laughs, lads’.”

Darren added: “To work with them both, absolute legends, we can never fill his shoes.”

He said he will remember his father just as how he seemed on TV, saying he was “like a cartoon”, while Rob said he was “completely full of mischief”.

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Tributes have flooded in for one half of the comedy double act who died after going to hospital with breathing issues and testing positive for coronavirus.

Comedian Tim Vine also paid tribute to Ball, saying he was “so very shocked and sad” at hearing the news of his death.

“Such a funny funny man. To be on the receiving end of that twinkly smile was pure joy,” he added.

Actor Steve Edge, who has starred Peep Show, shared his memories of working with Ball.



Bobby Ball
(Image: PA)

“When I was about seven I used to stand on the dining table with a pair of red braces on and do my Bobby Ball impersonation,” he tweeted.

“30-odd years later I’m working with him on Benidorm. Charming, mischievous, hilarious and he even sang The Boys In Blue theme to me. God bless you Bobby Ball.”

A post on the Twitter page of The Nolans pop group said they are “devastated” by the news of Ball’s death.

“He and his family have been a very big part of our life for decades,” it added.

“He was a wonderful artist. Not just a comedian but a singer, musician & actor – but most of all, a wonderful human being, who will be greatly missed & never forgotten.”

TV presenter Declan Donnelly also paid tribute to Ball.

“So sad to hear of the passing of Bobby Ball, one of my absolute favourite performers growing up and one of our favourite ever camp mates on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Rest in Peace Bobby,” he tweeted.

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Ball, born Robert Harper on January 28 1944 in Oldham, Lancashire, found fame as part of the double act with his comedy partner Tommy Cannon in the 1970s and 80s but won over new fans playing Mack’s troublesome father Frank in the BBC One sitcom Not Going Out from 2009.