FOND MEMORIES: Tommy Cannon with long-time comedy partner Bobby Ball at The Witham in 2019
FOND MEMORIES: Tommy Cannon with long-time comedy partner Bobby Ball at The Witham in 2019

COMEDIAN Tommy Cannon will make a welcome return to Barnard Castle later this year for a show which is sure to be tinged with sadness as well as full of smiles.
The veteran funnyman’s long time comedy partner Bobby Ball died last October aged 76.
The pair performed a sell-out show at The Witham on what turned out to be their final tour in 2019.
When he returns to the Barney venue on Thursday, September 30, Tommy Cannon will be joined by two other long established performers Stu Francis and Johnnie Casson.
Tommy Cannon became part of the UK’s comedy fabric since first appearing with Bobby Ball on Opportunity Knocks in 1968 and their Saturday night TV series attracted huge audiences throughout its 12-year run.
Stu Francis made a name for himself on children's TV show Crackerjack, appearing alongside The Crankies and delighting audience with the catchphrase: “I could crush a grape.”
Johnnie Casson rose to prominence on the TV show The Comedians in the 1970s and has appeared as a guest on numerous programmes.
Promoter Peter Dixon, of Funny Way To Be Comedy, said, “Like the rest of the nation, we were very sad to hear of the untimely death of Bobby Ball just a matter of weeks away from when we planned to bring the duo back to Barnard Castle.
“It is great news though that Tommy has decided to continue entertaining his legion of fans with this new tour.
“The fact that he will be accompanied by two other legends of old school comedy, Stu Francis and Johnnie Casson, is bound to make it a fun night of memories and comedy.”
Tickets will be available from www.funny towards the end of April.
Meanwhile, comedian and satirist Mark Thomas has been added to the Funny Way To Be roster of shows for later this year. He is due to visit The Witham on Thursday, November 18, with his 50 Things About Us show.
Expect stories about songs, gongs, loot, tradition, wigs, nicking, statues, art and identity, all presented in his trademark style of storytelling, stand-up, subversion and well researched material.
Mr Dixon said: “Mark produced a wonderful sold-out show when he last came to Barnard Castle in 2016.
“We are thrilled he’s coming back to us. A lovely thing that Mark does with his shows is to offer £12.50 concession tickets to students or people on low income. It’s all done in a self-certified way without any proof needed.”
For full ticket details, go to