Bobby Ball’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

IntroEnglish comedian
FromUnited Kingdom 
TypeFilm, TV, Stage & Radio 
Birth28 January 1944
Age:76 years

Robert Harper, known professionally as Bobby Ball (born 28 January 1944), is an English comedian, best known as one half of the double act Cannon and Ball, with Tommy Cannon. They hosted their own ITV show The Cannon and Ball Show for nine years between 1979 and 1988. Ball has since gone on to star in various sitcoms and dramas including Last of the Summer Wine, Heartbeat and Not Going Out.
In 2005, Ball took part in the fifth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!.

Early life

Ball was born at Boundary Park General Hospital, Oldham, Lancashire, on 28 January 1944, to May (née Savage) and Bob Harper. He attended High Crompton Secondary, Shaw, Oldham.

Ball went to work in a factory as a welder, where he also met his future partner, Thomas Derbyshire (Tommy Cannon).


Cannon and Ball

Ball was one half of comedy duo Cannon and Ball, opposite his friend and former colleague Tommy Cannon. The duo’s primetime Saturday night television series The Cannon and Ball Show, was one of LWT’s most successful series, with consistently high viewing ratings that lasted for twelve years. They starred in the film The Boys in Blue together in 1982 and guest starred in the Eric Sykes slapstick film, Mr H is Late in 1988. Other notable guest appearances were The Kenny Everett Show in 1982 and Shooting Stars in 1996.

Cannon and Ball competed in the fifth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!.

In 2011, Cannon and Ball were guest judges on one episode of ITV’s Show Me the Funny’.


Ball is the creator of the BBC children’s cartoon series Juniper Jungle, which aired in 1992.

Ball played Lenny in the BBC series Last of the Summer Wine from 2005 until 2008.

He played Mr. Turner (also known as Topsy Turner) in the ITV drama series Heartbeat from 2005-2006.

Ball starred in the 2009 comedy The Fattest Man in Britain playing Morris Morrissey.

From 2009 until 2015, Ball played Frank (Lee’s father) in the BBC One sitcom Not Going Out, appearing in the episodes: “Absent Father Christmas” (2009), “Life on Mars Bars” (2011), “Dads” (2012), “Therapy” (2013), “Boat” (2013), “The House” (2013), “Donor” (2014), “Alcohol” (2014), “Wedding” (2014) and “Christmas Shopping” (2015).

He has played Barry in the Sky1 sitcom series Mount Pleasant since 2011.

Ball has taken part in two episodes of BBC One’s Pointless Celebrities, the first in 2012 with Tommy Cannon. The second time, he appeared in the show was for a Children in Need special in November 2013 with Lee Mack.

In 2013, Ball played the role of Duckers in the ITV sitcom The Security Men.

Other work

Cannon and Ball star in the Safestyle UK television advertisements.

Personal life

Ball married his first wife, Joan Lynn, in 1964, with whom he had two sons, Robert (born 1965) and Darren (born 1969), who are now a comedy double act in their own right, performing under their surname ‘Harper’. Ball and Lynn separated in 1970. Ball married his second wife, Yvonne Nugent, in 1974 (although some reports say 1971.). In an interview with Bob Fischer on BBC Tees on Tuesday 28 June 2016, Bobby said that he met Yvonne while performing with Tommy Cannon in The Fiesta Club in Norton, Stockton-On-Tees. He told Bob “we were playing there and she was a ‘Fiesta Fawn,’ she came downstairs in a little mini skirt, looked at me and Tommy, shook her head and walked away. I thought – i’d spend my life with her…” Ball and Nugent live in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire.

Ball became a born-again Christian in 1986, as did Cannon in 1992, with their conversion having a lot to do with the re-kindling of their broken friendship. Together, they published a book called Christianity for Beginners. They now regularly feature in their own gospel and “An audience with…” show in churches around the country.



1979–1988The Cannon and Ball ShowHimself, co-star
1980Summer RoyalHimself
1982The Kenny Everett ShowHimself, Guest
1991Plaza PatrolTrevor Purvis
1996Shooting StarsHimself, Guest
2001Rex the RuntWayne the Zebra
2004RevolverVarious Characters
The RoyalJohn Wilson
2005I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!Himself, Contestant
2005–08Last of the Summer WineLenny
2005–06HeartbeatMr. Turner/Topsy Turner
2007The Afternoon PlayBingo Manager
2009The Fattest Man in BritainMorris Morrissey
2009–Not Going OutFrank (Lee’s father)
2010All Star Mr & MrsHimself, Contestant
2011Show Me the FunnyGuest judge
2011–Mount PleasantBarry
2012Coach TripHimself, Guest
CasualtyGerry Davies
Strictly Come Dancing: Christmas SpecialHimself, Contestant
2013The Security MenDuckers


1982The Boys in BluePC. Bobby Ball
1988Mr H is LateDriver’s Mate

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