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

Amy West
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.”

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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