Bobby Ball’s I’m A Celeb journey – from spider bites to separation from Tommy

Legendary comedian Bobby Ball has passed away at the age of 76 after testing positive for Covid-19, his manager has confirmed.

The actor, real name Robert Harper, will be fondly remembered as one of half of comedy double act Cannon and Ball, but he famously appeared in the 2005 edition of I'm A Celebrity..Get Me Out of Here! With his pal Tommy Cannon.

During his time in the show, Bobby donned a pink catsuit as part of an impromptu fashion show in camp.

Letting his hair down with his fellow celebrities, Bobby strutted his stuff in the tight costume as he enjoyed some fun as the "pink fairy".

Talking about the hilarious moment at the time, Bobby said: "The minute I put the catsuit on I thought 'What are the grandkids going of think of me?'"

Discussing Bobby's catwalk, campmate Sid Owen, who played Ricky Butcher in EastEnders joked: "Bobby stole the show. He's just got to get rid of the tash. Other than that, he looks like a women."

Viewers saw Bobby squirm as fellow contestant and former Emmerdale actress Sheree Murphy subjected him to his first facial during his time Down Under.

Bobby lasted 16 days in the jungle and came fifth place on the series, which was won by Margret Thatcher's daughter Carol.

Tommy, now 82, was the first contestant to be voted out of camp, leaving Bobby to spend several nights in the jungle without his comedy partner.

Sipping a glass of champagne, Ball told Ant and Dec about Tommy's departure: "It's really hard in there, you get very emotional.

"It was very hard when Tommy went, he is always there and suddenly he was gone.

"It was really difficult, but my fellow campmates were great, it has really been fantastic."

Reminiscing about his time in the Australian jungle, Bobby told the Mirror back in 2013: "I endured starvation, sickness and spider bites – but I missed Yvonne like crazy."

Bobby passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday evening at around 9.30pm a statement from his heartbroken wife Yvonne, his family and Tommy confirmed.

It said: "Bobby had been taken to the hospital for tests as he started with breathing problems.

"At first it was thought to be a chest infection but a test proved positive for Covid-19."

"His wife Yvonne said the hospital and staff could not have been more wonderful, as they were outstanding in their care of duty and they did everything possible for him and she cannot praise them enough.

"She said that the family and Tommy would like to express their sincere thanks to the many, many people who have been fans of Bobby and they know that they will all share in part the great loss and total sadness that Yvonne, the family and Tommy all feel.

"Yvonne added that their need for privacy at this time has to be a priority. No further announcements or statements will be made."

Bobby starred in several sitcoms including Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Heartbeat.

Cannon and Ball also came second to EastEnders stars Derek Martin and John Altman in the celebrity version of Coach Trip.

Bobby was famous for twanging his braces on stage, while saying: "Rock on, Tommy."

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