£19,000 boost for Bobby Ball statue fund

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The first fund-raising event in tribute to the late comedian Bobby Ball since lockdown has provided a bumper £19,000 boost towards the planned statue in his memory.

 

‘Bobby’s Brunch’ at Lytham’s Clifton Arms Hotel on Sunday proved so popular that Bobby’s widow Yvonne said it could have sold out twice over – and it ended up generating almost twice as much as the £10,000 Yvonne hoped night be raised for the statue appeal.

“I really can’t thank everyone enough,” said Yvonne,

“It was a wonderful success and a really memorable occasion, You could feel the love in the room.”

The brunch event at the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lytham, was a huge success

The brunch event at the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lytham, was a huge success

Artist chosen to sculpt Lytham statue of Bobby Ball

“We are delighted with how the appeal is going – and so grateful for everyone’s generosity,” added Yvonne. ”My thanks especially to Debbie and Mark Baxter, Deni Middleton and Debbie Wilkinson, who helped so much with the organisation of Sunday’s event.”

Bobby’s long-time partner in the legendary Cannon and Ball duet, Tommy Cannon, was among the audience on Sunday and at one stage joined Bobby’s sons, performers in their own right as The Harper Brothers, to sign a song which Yvonne described as “very moving”.

A host of performers, many based locally, were involved in the show in Bobby’s honour, which followed a meal.

Comedians Johnnie Casson and Phil WalkerComedians Johnnie Casson and Phil Walker

They included locally-based comedian Phil Walker along with the likes of popular singer Paul Dobie and the group Flip, all giving their services free of charge to help the statue fund.

Phil said: “With the pandemic, it was the first opportunity for us to get together and pay tribute to Bobby and I was honoured to be involved.

“I have fond memories of watching Cannon and Ball from the wings when they played Blackpool when I was younger and I’m proud that my first major gig as a comedian was supporting them at Bournemouth.

“When I went into panto, Bobby had just moved to the area and was always ready with really valuable advice.

“He was a regular attender at our Woofers comedy nights at Lowther Pavilion and I really miss him.”

Bobby died last October, aged 76. Artist Ben Twiston-Davies has already been commissioned to sculpt the statue of him close to the Lowther Pavilion theatre, where he was a patron.

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