'Emmerdale' casts comedian Tommy Cannon as 'exciting' new character

ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Comedian Tommy Cannon arrives for the funeral service of Barry Chuckle at The New York Stadium on August 17, 2018 in Rotherham, England. Comedy entertainer Barry Chuckle died aged 73 after a short period of illness. Barry starred with his brother Paul as the comedy duo The Chuckle Brothers and are famous amongst british fans for their catch phrase "to me, to you"  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Comedian Tommy Cannon is joining 'Emmerdale' (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Comedian Tommy Cannon is gearing up for a “brief stint” on hugely-popular ITV soap Emmerdale.

The 81-year-old, who is perhaps best known for being the straight man to Bobby Ball in 80s double act Cannon and Ball, took to Twitter to share the news.

In a tweet that has now been deleted, he revealed that he’s set to play a character called Derek and that he can’t wait to “spend some time in the ‘dales.”

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Little else is known about the role he’ll play in the long-running series, but it’s expected that he’ll turn up on the small screen over the next few months.

“He is joining the show but won’t be on air for a while,” a source recently told The Sun Online. “He’s playing a new character and everyone’s really excited to have him on set.”

Comedy Duo, Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball, return to the Crane Fruehauf factory in Oldham, Lancashire, where they both worked as welders, 23rd October 1978. (Photo by Jack Walker/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Cannon (L) is best known for his work opposite his comedy colleague Bobby Ball (Jack Walker/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Cannon’s friends and fans seemed thrilled about his future involvement on Twitter, as Paddy McGuinness wrote: “Congrats pal.”

Elsewhere, Karen Blick, who plays cleaner Lydia Hart on the show, replied: “Brilliant news.”

Cannon’s Last of the Summer Wine co-star Louis Emerick also wrote: “Huge congratulations, looking forward to seeing you in The Dales.”

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Throughout his 40 year career, Cannon - whose real name is Thomas Derbyshire - has appeared in other shows such as Plaza Patrol, Doctors and Not Going Out.

Along with long-time collaborator Ball, he’s also taken part in numerous reality TV shows including Celebrity Coach Trip, Celebrity MasterChef, Pointless Celebrities and I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

The pair’s biggest claim-to-fame, however, was their nine-year stint on ITV with variety show The Cannon and Ball Show, which premiered in 1979.

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