Article By: Lucy Needham
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The actor and comedian, who was one half of beloved double act Cannon&Ball, has died in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19
Bobby Ball, one half of the comedy double act Cannon & Ball, has died at the age of 76 after testing positive for Covid-19.
The actor and comedian had been taken to hospital experiencing breathing problems before he was confirmed to have the coronavirus.
Bobby, whose real name was Robert Harper, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday evening.
His best friend and comedy partner Tommy Cannon said he's 'devastated' by the news as he paid tribute using their classic catchphrase.
"Rock on, my good friend, I can't believe this, 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, 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 had been taken to the hospital for tests as he started with breathing problems. At first it was thought to be a chest infection but a test proved positive for Covid-19.
"His wife Yvonne said the hospital and staff could not have been more wonderful, as they were outstanding in their care of duty and they did everything possible for him and she cannot praise them enough.
"She said that the family and Tommy would like to express their sincere thanks to the many, many people who have been fans of Bobby and they know that they will all share in part the great loss and total sadness that Yvonne, the family and Tommy all feel.
"Yvonne added that their need for privacy at this time has to be a priority. No further announcements or statements will be made."
Bobby's beloved wife of 46 years, Yvonne said: "I will always miss him, he was so joyful, full of fun and mischievous."
The actor, comedian and singer is best known for hosting the ITV's The Cannon and Ball show for nine years with with his best friend Tommy Cannon.
He went on to star in various dramas and sitcoms including Last of the Summer Wine and Heartbeat.
In 2005 he took part in reality series I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, where he finished in sixth place.
Since 2009 he played the role of Frank in long-running BBC Sitcom Not Going Out, alongside Lee Mack.
Following the tragic news, many of Bobby's celebrity friends have paid tribute to the entertainer.
TV star Les Dennis described Ball as a "true entertainer with real funny bones".
In a tweet, he said: "Just heard the sad news that the wonderful Bobby Ball has died. He was a true entertainer with real funny bones. Thoughts with Tommy,Yvonne and his family at this sad time. RIP Bobby."
Comedian Jason Manford said he was "heartbroken" at the news of Ball's death.
He tweeted: "So heartbroken 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".
Ball was born Robert Harper on January 28 1944 and found fame on the The Cannon & Ball Show opposite his lifelong friend Tommy Cannon.
He 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.