Family favourite comedian Bobby Ball brought his bouncy blend of Christianity and comedy to St Bartholomew’s Church in Colne, giving his audience plenty to laugh at and think about.
The smaller half of the Cannon and Ball double act is nearly 70 and has less of his trademark curly hair – now a distinguished grey rather than zany black – but he showed he has lost none of the energy that propelled him to television stardom in the 1970s.
“An Evening With Bobby Ball” gave the Oldham-born funnyman the opportunity to wisecrack his way through his life story and tell how his conversion to Christianity turned him away from a self-destructive path of heavy drinking and womanising.
The audience of more than 120 – including Pendle MP Mr Andrew Stephenson and the Mayor of Pendle, Coun. Smith Benson – lapped up Bobby’s cheeky brand of humour coupled with his sincere observations on faith and religion.
The event was organised by Loop Publishing, Colne, the publisher of Northern Life and associated magazines.
Editor Karen Shaw, introducing the evening, told how as a young girl she loved to watch Bobby on TV, and was punished for being naughty by being banned from watching him.
She said afterwards: “I’d wanted to meet him for years, and he lived up to expectations. He’s a fascinating character and he had us all in stitches.”
Colne Orpheus Glee Union, conducted by Matthew Leedam, opened and closed the evening with a selection of hymns and spirituals, concluding with “When The Saints Go Marching In” and leading the audience in “Jerusalem.” Afterwards, Bobby ministered to members of the audience who wanted to discuss issues of faith with him.