A new charity dedicated to the memory of the late Bobby Ball has been set up to raise money for causes close to his heart.
The Oldham-born comedian and actor – whose real name was Robert Harper – sadly died at the age of 76 in October of last year after contracting coronavirus (COVID-19).
He was best-known for being one half of comedy double act Cannon and Ball – who rose from playing working men’s clubs, to hosting their own Saturday night ITV show in the 1980s – before dropping out of the spotlight in the 1990s and then finding new fame as the father of fellow Northern comic Lee Mack’s character in the BBC sitcom Not Going Out.
He also had roles in Last of the Summer Wine and Heartbeat, as well as being known for twanging his braces on stage, while saying: “Rock on, Tommy.”
Bobby and his wife Yvonne moved to the popular Lancashire seaside town of Lytham more than 25 years ago after falling in love with the place while working in nearby Blackpool in the 1980s, and he was known to have thrown himself into being part of the community, and getting involved to help out where he could.
And now, because of his love for the town, his widow Yvonne has launched The Bobby Ball Foundation to raise money for the organisations along the Fylde Coast that Bobby was so passionate about.
The first two events in The Bobby Ball Foundation name have already been organised and will be held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens this November, with all money raised going to Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion and Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, which are two organisations that Bobby was an active patron and supporter of.
On top of that, money from the foundation will also be donated towards the cost of a Bobby Ball statue in Lytham’s Lowther Gardens.
Bobby was often known to joke during his lifetime about having a statue in his favourite seaside resort, and in December 2020, his wish was finally granted, with the green light for the go-ahead and planning being given by Fylde Borough Council and more than £20,000 already raised towards its cost.
Speaking about the formation of The Bobby Ball Foundation, Yvonne said: “Bob was born to entertain and whether he was on stage or spending time with friends, it was always his mission to make people laugh.
“We are all devastated he has gone but we are lucky to have years of many happy and very funny memories.
“Bob was a huge personality and while he loved to perform he was also passionate about helping others. He would be absolutely honoured to know we have set up a charity foundation in his name and that we are planning two big fundraising events.
“Like Bob, these events are going to be filled with big personalities and we look forward to revealing more as final plans are put in place.”
Incredible misty drone footage shows how Manchester earned its ‘Manctopia’ nickname
Drone footage captured from way above Manchester shows just how quickly the city has grown – and proves that our hometown is well on its way to earning its ‘Manctopia’ nickname.
Cast your mind back just a few years and you’ll remember that Beetham Tower stuck out like a sore thumb, towering many storeys above the next tallest building.
In fact, until just four years ago, the next-tallest building here was City Tower, which was a good 17 storeys shorter than Beetham Tower.
Then along came Renaker with visions for an entirely new skyscraper neighbourhood – Deansgate Square.
This group of skyscrapers now completely dominate the Manchester skyline, with the tallest building a massive 65 storeys tall.
South Tower is not only the tallest building in Greater Manchester, it’s also the 10th tallest in the entire UK, and the biggest outside of London.
It’s all led to Manchester being coined ‘Manctopia’, the name of a BBC documentary that followed property developers Capital & Centric as they redevelop buildings around the region.
One local photographer has managed to capture the unbelievable scale of our new, ultra-modern city skyline, with drone footage soaring among the skyscrapers.
Known on Instagram as @lef_tsotour, they shared a video taken on a misty Manchester morning.
It captures both Deansgate Square, with sun glinting off the many windows of the towers, and the now-dwarfed Beetham Tower.
You can also see the railway lines snaking through the city centre, cars nipping around the ring road, and the comparatively small apartment blocks around Castlefield.
Commenting on the video, one person said: “This is mint.”
Another wrote: “Fricken love this!!!!”
Featured image: @lef_tsotour
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.