Variety is deeply saddened by the news that Bobby Ball, a loyal and long-standing supporter of the charity, has died at the age of 76.

During a career spanning more than 60 years, Bobby is best remembered as one half of the legendary television comedy double act Cannon and Ball, as well as for his starring roles in a string of successful television sitcoms and dramas.

Widely loved for his mischievous nature and his ability to make all the generations laugh, Bobby was also known for having a ‘heart of gold’, and for his strong belief in giving back to the community. Over several decades, he gave his time to Variety in many different ways, presiding over Sunshine Coach presentations and making appearances at events, among other activities.

He is pictured below in 2018 at the presentation of a Sunshine Coach to Pear Tree School in Kirkham, Lancashire, where he delighted staff and children alike. The school caters for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

In recognition of his tremendous support, Bobby received a number of honours from Variety over the years.

He was made The Variety Club’s 1982 Show Business Personality of the year, along with his comedy partner, Tommy Canon.

In 2018, Bobby was honoured by Variety at a tribute lunch.

And in 2019, he was presented with a Variety Legends of Industry Award.

David Jones, Chair of the Variety Lancashire Committee, said:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Bobby Ball’s passing – a true comedy legend, who supported Variety for many years. It was an honour to present Bobby with his Variety award on stage at his tribute lunch not that long ago in Lytham. Bobby really did have a heart of gold. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to his family and wife Yvonne at this difficult time.”

As tributes to Bobby pour in from all over the country, the Variety community mourns the loss of a joyful, generous friend and supporter.