Sons of Bobby Ball pay tribute to ‘legend’ father: We can never fill his shoes

Rob and Darren Harper have their own comedy double act.
Bobby Ball (Yui Mok/PA)

Bobby Ball (Yui Mok/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

The sons of Bobby Ball have said they have been “overwhelmed” by the tributes to their father since his death and added “we can never fill his shoes”.

The Cannon & Ball comedian died in hospital on October 28 after testing positive for Covid-19.

Rob Harper, who is part of the double act The Harper Brothers with his brother Darren, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “You never expect one of your family to get it and then it’s shell-shock really.

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“I was FaceTiming him every day, three times a day while he was in hospital, before he took a decline, he was laughing and joking with the nurses, he was his usual self, getting the nurses and saying ‘Have you met your new mother?’ and that is what he was doing.

“And then unfortunately he declined, he went in the wrong direction.”

He continued: “Three weeks ago we did our last gig with Cannon & Ball at a place in Blackpool called Viva and he was up to his old  tricks again.

“We are in a double act and we went on stage hoping to get a laugh and then Cannon & Ball went after, got the bigger laughs, turned around to us backstage and said ‘That’s how you get laughs, lads’.”

Tommy Cannon (left) and Bobby Ball (PA)

Tommy Cannon (left) and Bobby Ball (PA)

Darren added: “To work with them both, absolute legends, we can never fill his shoes.”

He said he will remember his father just as how he seemed on TV, saying he was “like a cartoon”, while Rob said he was “completely full of mischief”.

Ball, born Robert Harper on January 28 1944 in Oldham, Lancashire, found fame as part of the double act with his comedy partner Tommy Cannon in the 1970s and 80s but won over new fans playing Mack’s troublesome father Frank in the BBC One sitcom Not Going Out from 2009.

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