Rock on, Bobby Ball

Cannon and Ball, with Jill Gascoine

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8892361/Bobby-Ball-died-age-76-testing-positive-Covid-19.html

Their first TV appearance was in 1974 in the variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club before landing a performance on Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night, although their segment didn’t make it to broadcast.

In 1979, LWT offered them their own series, The Cannon and Ball Show, which premiered in ITV on 28 July 1979. Further series followed each year through to 1988, along with Christmas and Easter specials.

They were the subjects of This Is Your Life in 1981 when they were surprised by Eamonn Andrews.

In 1982, they appeared in a feature film, The Boys in Blue, based loosely on the Will Hay film, Ask a Policeman. The Boys in Blue was regarded critically as weak in comparison and was their only cinema outing.

They also featured in a comic strip Rock on Tommy, which was published in the magazine Look-in.

Their popularity coincided with the rise of alternative comedy, with its emphasis on more socially relevant and political concerns.

As time passed, Cannon and Ball’s popularity began to decline, though they were not the only comedy act to suffer as comic tastes shifted.

During the 1980s, Greg Dyke, the then Head of Programming at ITV station TVS and later to hold a similar position at LWT expressed a concern that northern comedy shows may not suit southern tastes.

LWT – get knotted.

I only saw them on stage once – think it was in Scarborough around the end of the 80s. Hate to say it but apart from pub folk music which we regularly attended, the only other show I ever saw during those decades was an Alan Ayckbourn play, also in Scarborough.

Scarborough was never really my scene, too touristy, although I’d go to Debenhams to buy things and bought one of my cars there.  Occasionally we’d go south to Filey, furthest west we went was the now named A1[M], Darlington.

Speaking of comedians – Spike, Morecambe and Wise, that Pam person whose comedy was always taking the p*** out of men [yeah, really funny] – they were liked but for me, Cannon and Ball were quite earthy, almost amateurish, which I personally liked.  RIP Bobby Ball.

.o0o.

For non-English, esp. American viewers, you might know of the north-south divide and our Mason-Dixon line was, according to south-easterners, something like this:

… but what would they know? Were I to draft the map, Wales would be on its own over there, maybe with Merseyside and the rest would be Lancashire west of the Pennines and the old Northumbria east, up as far as, and including, Berwick. The Scots would dispute that last bit.

8 comments for “Rock on, Bobby Ball

  1. The Scots would dispute that last bit…..
    What more can I add?! They love a dispute. When they have something to grouse about they can realise they are not dead! (wink)

  2. When they have something to grouse about they can realise they are not dead! (wink)

    Haha! That was very nearly a cocoa over the keyboard moment Toodles! 😀

    _____

    The Pam woman? Was that Pam Ayres and her pomes – “I wish I’d looked after me teeth” etc?

    ____

    Thanks for the Cannon & Ball clip. Brought some much needed merriment – things getting a bit dour on’t’continent 😉

  3. I remember his appearance in Last of the Summer Wine as the Swan Man of Ilkley. Northern comics, not so much amateurish as natural. Every pub has one. A comic talent, he will be missed.

  4. DR….I gots more up my sleeve, more up my sleeve!

    I am rather afraid that James fella will get that cane of his, wrap it round my neck and pull me off the blog stage, gurgling as I go.

    Best mind my manners (if possible).

    Send the bill to James if and when you do spill the cocoa on your key board….even if it isn’t N.O. related.

    Cocoa. Nope, still too warm here for that. Best spill semi-sweet iced tea instead.

    • “ I am rather afraid that James fella will get that cane of his, wrap it round my neck and pull me off the blog stage, gurgling as I go.”

      Remarks are itching to make themselves. We can speak of the gurgling at leisure.

  5. When they have something to grouse about they can realise they are not dead! (wink)

    Oi! I resemble that comment!

  6. Ain’t it the truth, Alan???

    Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time deid.

    — SCOTTISH SAYING

    Happy? A Scot?! Well now, the grousing…indeed! The grousing makes you, them, me happy.

    We ARE happy!

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