Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show - a chance to say goodbye, Tommy Cannon, Jason Manford, Sheridan Smith, Sally Lindsay, Russell Watson all share their memories as they celebrate life of the showbiz legend at Blackpool Winter Gardens

This is the touching moment Tommy Cannon closed the show on a momentous night of comedy, music and magic in celebration of his stage partner for more than half a century - Bobby Ball.

By Nicola Jaques
Saturday, 13th November 2021, 4:21 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th November 2021, 4:24 pm
Tommy Cannon closes the inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show with a poignant tribute
Tommy Cannon closes the inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show with a poignant tribute

With Bobby's trademark braces and shoes tenderly placed on a chair centre stage of the Opera House in Blackpool - a theatre the pair as Cannon and Ball sold out many a time in their career - veteran entertainer Tommy paid a final goodbye.

A 3,000 strong audience rose to their feet in love and appreciation of the' phenomenal' talent Bobby brought to generations in his 58 years of showbusiness.

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Tommy, 83, said: "I know he's here now and he's probably saying come on just get on with it.

"The lovely is for me, in 1984 Bob and I came to this theatre and sold it out, two times a night, 6,400 people for 25 weeks - that still holds the record even today.

"So to come back here oh how I wish Bobby had been with me - God Bless Him - so it's been fantastic."

Bobby's wife Yvonne, daughter Joanne and sons Rob and Darren (The Harper brothers) - who performed on the night - said they had been blown away by the response for the evening and with to the chance to share their love for Bobby with all those who adored him.

Jason Manford with Bobby Ball's family on stage at the Winter Gardens Opera House Blackpool, Bobby's daughter Joanne, his sons Rob and Darren and his wife Yvonne

Yvonne, praised all those involved with The Bobby Ball Foundation and the night's organisers Cuffe and Taylor, she added: "The whole night has just completed exceeded all my expectations.

Rob added: "Dad, I can see him, will be there licking his 'tache right now - he'd have loved this, he really would. He just had this warmth but his was actually just his love for people and making them smile."

Comedian Jason Manford said it had been a night full of variety 'full of fun' he added: "It would have been perfect for this fella."

Sheridan Smith performs at the Rock On Variety Show in memory of Bobby Ball at Blackpool Opera House Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson

Singer and actress Sheridan Smith, 40, who performed on the evening, sharing the stage with Tommy said: "Bobby and Tommy were my dad's favourite act and I grew up with them and then had the honour of meeting them and it just got me so emotional tonight when Tommy came on stage.

"Bobby was just the most amazing man and human being, kind and funny and to do a little something for him was a huge honour in the home of variety Blackpool."