Bobby's sons Rob and Darren, who perform together as The Harper Brothers will also take to the iconic stage later this evening for the inaugural variety show in aid of the Bobby Ball Foundation
Walking on stage to tremendous applause, Bobby's best friend Tommy Cannon - who rocketed to the heights of fame with their double-act following their appearance on Opportunity Knocks in 1969 - said it had been painful not to have given him his pal a final goodbye.
"Of course I'd like him to be by my side tonight. It's nerve-wracking to be here in Blackpool Opera House without him.
"Bobby was a barrel of laughs. He'd do anything for anybody. We'd been together for 57, nearly 58 years and sometimes we'd get to the stage of saying 'Shall we retire?' but Bobby would never have retired.'