(Bobby, right, regularly starred alongside his comedy partner Tommy in the Crewe Lyceum Pantones)
Comedian Bobby Ball has died at the age of 76, after testing positive for Covid-19.
A spokesperson for his family said: “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.”
Many will remember Bobby as one half of the double act Cannon and Ball, who were firm favourites at the Crewe Lyceum Theatre pantomime each year.
The pair hosted their own ITV show, The Cannon and Ball Show, between 1979 and 1988 and starred in numerous sitcoms.
Leading the tributes, Cannon said: “Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this, I’m devastated.”
Bobby’s wife Yvonne said: “I will always miss him, he was so joyful, full of fun and mischievous.”