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Not Going Out star Bobby Ball dies aged 76 after testing positive for coronavirus

The actor was one half of comedy duo Cannon and Ball

Francesca Shillcock

Actor and comedian Bobby Ball has died aged 76, his manager has confirmed. The entertainer, who was best known for being one half of comedy duo Cannon and Ball alongside Tommy Cannon, had recently tested positive for coronavirus and suffered breathing difficulties as a result.

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His management released a statement on behalf of his wife Yvonne, his children and his former comedy partner Tommy.

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The late Bobby Ball with comedy partner Tommy Cannon

It read: "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." The family also stated that Bobby had passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday evening at around 9.30pm.

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Bobby, born Robert Harper, began his career working alongside his colleague and friend Tommy to form their comedy double act. Together, the two appeared on The Cannon and Ball Show which premiered on ITV in 1979 and continued until 1988.

The comedians also appeared as a double act on the fifth series of I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2005. His acting roles came in the form of Lenny in Last of the Summer Wine between 2005 and 2008, Mr Turner in Heartbeat and Barry in Mount Pleasant from 2011 to 2017. 

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Bobby appeared on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

In later years, Bobby was known for playing Frank in BBC sitcom Not Going Out alongside Lee Mack. He also made multiple appearances in other popular reality and gaming shows including All Star Mr and Mrs and Coach Trip.

Bobby married his first wife, Joan, in 1964 and welcomed two children, Robert and Darren, who grew up to follow their father's footsteps and carve a career in comedy. They are now known as the 'Harper Brothers'. Bobby and Joan divorced in 1970, after which he married his second wife Yvonne in 1974.

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