A nine-foot bronze sculpture of comedian Bobby Ball twanging his braces has been unveiled in his adopted hometown.
The huge statue of the showman, who died in October 2020 aged 76 after testing positive for Covid, was revealed close to the seafront in Lytham, Lancashire, on Sunday (28 August).
The statue, which weighs around 600kg (1322 lbs), depicts the funnyman - who was one half of comedy duo Cannon and Ball - on his 40th birthday.
It was given the green light by Fylde Council last year and a crowdfunding page was launched to raise £100,000 for it.
It was created by Ben Twiston-Davies, who created the Agatha Christie memorial in London and unveiled at a moving ceremony attended by celebrities including Lee Mack, who starred with Bobby in the hit series 'Not Going Out', and his long-time comedy partner Tommy Canon spoke.
English Tenor and Blackpool native Alfie Boe also performed along with an NHS choir.
Ball's wife of 46 years, Yvonne, said the artist had “nailed” his likeness after he "studied everything" about the much-loved entertainer.
She said Bobby would have been “overwhelmed” by the statue honouring him, saying: "To put it in his words, he’d be ‘piggin’ chuffed’.
"Bob loved living in Lytham. We had made it our home so to have him remembered with a statue in the gardens of Lowther Pavilion is very special indeed."
The coastal town, two miles from Blackpool, was Ball's home from the mid-1990s until his death in October.
His family said he was a patron of Lowther Pavilion and had performed at the venue many times, including the staging of the first play he wrote, ‘Rock Off Tommy’.
Councillor Karen Buckley, Fylde Council leader, said: "Bobby was a very special, incredibly talented and unique individual who was truly adopted by the locals of Lytham St Annes.
"His lasting legacy of kindness and joy means he will be sadly missed and this statue will ensure he can go on giving that joy to visitors and residents of the area long after Bobby took his final bow and left the stage."
Ball's wife added that he had long joked about wanting a statue in Lytham like fellow comic Les Dawson, who is also immortalised with a statue on the town's seafront after he too made it his adopted home.
She said: "He used to say to people 'Where's my statue, where's my statue?' I used to reply 'You're not dead yet, Bob.'
"A walk and sit in Lowther Gardens was a favourite pastime but always ended up taking longer than anticipated and would turn into a 'promote Lytham' exercise, while Bobby happily chatted and let people know how lucky he felt to be living here."
Cannon and Ball rose from playing at working men's clubs to hosting their own Saturday night ITV show, The Cannon and Ball Show, in the 1980s.
They also starred in the film The Boys in Blue together in 1982 and guest starred in the Eric Sykes slapstick film, Mr H Is Late, in 1988.
After dropping out of the spotlight in the 1990s, Ball found new fame as the father of fellow comic Lee Mack's character in the BBC sitcom Not Going Out.