Bobby, real name Robert Harper, died Wednesday night at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
His best friend and comedy partner for more than 40 years, Tommy Cannon, said he was “devastated” by the news, as he paid tribute using the duo’s classic slogan.
“Go on, my good friend, I can’t believe it, I’m devastated,” he shared.
A statement from the duo’s management read: “It is with great personal sadness that, on behalf of Yvonne Ball, family and Tommy Cannon, I announce that Bobby Ball has passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on October 28, 2020 at around 9.30 pm. .
“Bobby had been taken to the hospital for tests because he had started with breathing problems. At first it was thought to be a lung infection but a test came back positive for Covid-19.
“His wife Yvonne said the hospital and staff couldn’t have been more wonderful because they were exceptional at their job and they went out of their way for him and she cannot congratulate them enough.
“She said the family and Tommy would like to express their sincere thanks to the many people who have been fans of Bobby and know that they will all share in part the great loss and utter sadness that Yvonne, the family and Tommy have. all feel.
“Yvonne added that their need for privacy at this time must be a priority. No other announcement or statement will be made. ”
Bobby’s beloved wife of 46 years, Yvonne said: “I will always miss him, he was so cheerful, full of fun and mischievous. ”
The actor, comedian and singer is best known for hosting the hit show The Cannon and Ball with his best friend Tommy Cannon for nine years between 1979 and 1988.
He went on to star in various dramas and sitcoms including Last of the Summer Wine, Mount Pleasant, and Heartbeat.
In 2005, he appeared in the reality TV series I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here !, where he finished in sixth place.
Since 2009, he has starred as Frank on the longtime BBC sitcom Not Going Out alongside Lee Mack.
Following the tragic news, many famous friends of Bobby paid tribute to the artist.
TV star Les Dennis described Ball as “a real artist with real funny bones”.
In a tweet, he said: “I just heard the sad news that the wonderful Bobby Ball is dead. He was a real artist with really funny bones. Reflections with Tommy, Yvonne and her family in this sad time. RIP Bobby. ”
Comedian Jason Manford said he was “heartbroken” at the news of Ball’s death.
He tweeted: “So sorry to read about the passing of comedy legend Bobby Ball. Such a hilarious man. The comedy community is a poorer place without him. »RockOn« RIPBobbyBall ».
BBC radio presenter Tony Blackburn tweeted: “I’m sorry to hear that Bobby Ball has passed away. He was a very funny man and has given us great comedy over the years. Thank you RIP for the laughs ”.
Peep Show star Neil Fitzmaurice tweeted, “I’m on my way to The Sharpe Project. A place where we filmed Mount Pleasant for 8 years. A place where we shared love and laughter with Bobby Ball! I just found out he’s gone! The broken heart does not cover it! A wonderful, funny, lovable and extremely talented gentleman. God bless you Bobby! X “.
Blue singer Antony Costa, who appeared on I’m a Celebrity alongside Ball in 2005, tweeted: “Just heard the news from my friend and colleague I’m a Bobby Ball celebrity contestant… I’m devastated by the new. Thoughts are with Yvonne and the RIP family bobbyball xx so so sad x ”
Ball was born Robert Harper on January 28, 1944 and found fame at The Cannon & Ball Show opposite his lifelong friend Tommy Cannon.
He took a break from television alongside Tommy when they were booked to star on seven episodes of Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night in the 1970s.
Then London Weekend Television’s program director Michael Grades saw snippets of their routines and decided to take a chance on the pair and give them their own TV series.
The Cannon and Ball Show lasted for nine years on LWT from 1979 to 1988.
In his later years, Bobby also appeared in TV series including Last Of The Summer Wine, Heartbeat, Mount Pleasant, Benidorm, The Cockfields and Not Going Out, and the duo appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005.