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.”
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Stockport town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents / Credit: Care UK (via Facebook)
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”